Sania Mirza's plans of retiring at the end of the 2022 season may be affected by the tendon injury in her arm, which, having forced her out of the US Open last month, is taking longer to heal than expected. She is still in pain and unable to train.
"Honestly, the recovery has been slower than I would have liked," she said in a media interaction on Tuesday. "It's been more than a month. I didn't realise it but I've torn my tendon and it's detached a bit from the bone. So it's very painful."
Sania, currently ranked 25th in doubles, was on a good run before the injury hit in late August. She had reached the doubles semifinals at the WTA 1000 event in Toronto and hoped to finish at the US Open.
"Even today, after four and a half weeks, when I thought I should've started hitting balls by, I'm still unable to pick up a water bottle without pain. It does look like it's going to take a few more weeks. I'll do a few more tests and see how it is," she said. She was speaking on the sidelines of the Tennis Premier League player auction in Mumbai.
This uncertain timeline of recovery means she isn't sure if she will retire at the end of the season, as she had announced at the Australian Open earlier this year. "This is why I don't know about my retirement plans or anything. I was hoping to play the US Open, still being close to 20 in the world rankings I thought it would be nice to play a Grand Slam and finish. But I don't know exactly when I'll be better and then what I'll play," she said.
Sania, 35, had announced in January that the 2022 season would be her last on the WTA tour, saying that her body was wearing down and the motivation for the everyday grind had diminished. Even then she had spoken about how injury recovery was taking longer at her age and how she was going to take the season week by week.
She last played at the WTA 1000 event in Cincinnati, reaching the second round after her semis run in Canada the week before. She has won six Grand Slam doubles titles and was ranked No 1 in doubles.