Sania Mirza returned to professional tennis this January after her two-year maternity break and won the doubles title at the WTA Hobart International tournament. But since COVID-19 sent the tennis season into limbo, the Indian tennis star is busy focussing on her physical fitness and running behind her toddler, Izhaan. And now, she is going to be a part of the virtual ‘Summer Festival of Olympian and Paralympian Online Experiences’ organised by Airbnb in partnership with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. We spoke to Mirza about the festival, her hopes for the future, and where she wants to travel to once things get back to normal. By Adila Matra
What does a day in your life look like right now? Do you keep aside time for training every day?
Since I have a toddler in the house, I have, kind of, stopped going out to play tennis every day. But I do take out a couple of hours for my physical fitness. It makes me happy too.
Tell us a bit about being a part of Airbnb’s virtual Olympic festival. What are you looking forward to?
I am very excited about this. It is the Olympic year, and it was one of those seasons where I was supposed to make my comeback. Unfortunately, because of the circumstances, the event had to be postponed. I am really looking forward to being a part of this festival along with other Olympian and Paralympians, and sharing my experiences online—like how staying mentally fit is as important as physical fitness, how I lost 22 kilos in five months for my comeback, and so on.
You’ve been an avid traveller. Where would you like to travel to once restrictions are lifted?
Everything is up in the air right now, and travelling with a toddler is very risky. But I think, my priority right now is to meet my husband. We haven’t seen each other in the last four-five months. So the first chance we get, both of us are going to meet in Dubai, where we have a place.
Any skill that you picked up during the past few months?
I tried baking for a bit, but I have my hands full with Izhaan; I am running behind him all the time. But these past few months have helped me understand where my happiness really resides. I don’t think anybody will take the little things in life for granted now — like going out for a walk again.
Any road trips you are planning to take?
We have a farmhouse that is 40-50 kilometres away from Hyderabad. Once things are a little better, we would probably go there once a week to get some fresh air.
Tell us about the virtual date you recently had with Shoaib. How did that idea come about?
That is the only time I get to see him! Shoaib was holding a live episode on Instagram with his friends. So, I joined in for an hour. It was a side of us that the audience doesn’t usually get to see. We both had a lot of fun.