Tokyo 2020: Have no plans to retire and I feel I can keep going, says Sania Mirza

Tennis star Sania Mirza
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Tennis star Sania Mirza

Highlights

  • Sania Mirza is set to feature in her fourth Olympics.
  • She will be the first-ever Indian woman to achieve the feat.
  • She will be partnering Olympic debutant Ankita Raina in doubles event.

India's veteran tennis star Sania Mirza has no plans of retiring and wants to "keep going" as she is gearing up for the biggest challenge of her professional comeback at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Sania, who qualified for the multi-nation event through her protected ranking, is set to become the first-ever Indian woman to feature in four editions of the summer Games when she takes the court in Tokyo.

The 34-year-old Sania will be partnering with Olympic debutant Ankita Raina in women's doubles.

"I honestly don't know. I am not planning to call it quits but the fact of the matter is that 34 in any other career is very young...as an athlete, it's not. That is a fact we have to accept. I am a very realistic person, I don't live on in the clouds...I am a very realistic person, I am very real and I like to keep it real.

The fact is I am 34 and I don't know how much longer. I do have pains every morning when I wake up. I do have pain that I didn't know I had the other day. I have had three surgeries and a baby. So I need to be at my 100 percent to play at the top of my game. I don't want to play tennis for the sake of playing tennis," Sania told Times Now ahead of the Tokyo 2020, which is due to go underway on July 23.

"Having said that, I have no plans, my body feels fine, it feels good, I feel fit, and that I can keep going," the six-time Grand Slam winner further added.

Five years ago in Rio, Sania had lost out on her maiden Olympic media by a fraction when she was eliminated from the mixed doubles bronze medal game with Rohan Bopanna.

The heartbreak defeat still hurts Sania, who is hoping that something similar doesn't happen in Tokyo this time around.

"Last time (Rio 2016), like I said, was heart-breaking for me. We were up a set in the semi-final to go into the gold medal round and we lost that match and the worst thing was to come back the next day. To prepare ourselves to play that bronze medal match was mentally one of the toughest things to do. Hopefully, the experience will help," Sania added.

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