How Sania Mirza Drew Inspiration From Serena Williams

WASHINGTON, December 1, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Sania Mirza is India’s most successful women’s tennis player, a former doubles World No. 1 with six Grand Slam titles in women’s and mixed doubles. After the 2017 season, she decided to take two years off the tour to start a family and now has a two-year-old son, Izhaan.

Recently, Mirza, 34, watched Being Serena, the 2018 documentary about Serena Williams – whose themes include vulnerability and the challenge of juggling motherhood with being a highly successful professional athlete. She was so moved that she wrote a letter to the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion and fellow mother – “An Ode to All Mothers” – that she posted on her social media platforms. In her letter, Mirza reflected upon how motherhood had changed her life and also how Serena had always been her source of inspiration to dream big.

“It is often said that a woman has to choose between becoming a mother and chasing her dreams,” wrote Mirza. “Today, I write this letter sharing my journey and also a little bit about the inspiration I got from Serena Williams and her journey. I want to dedicate my words to all the wonderful and strong mothers who have dared to dream and each day have strived to maintain a balance between motherhood and their professions.”

Bottom line according to Mirza, the key to finding a balance between tennis and being a mother is all about pouring love into each one equally.

Crown Promenade expected to be a Melbourne quarantine hub

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Monday evening that Crown Promenade will be one of two or three hotels used in Melbourne as a quarantine hub when players begin to arrive for the Australian Open in January.

“Sources close to the negotiations between Tennis Australia and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) believe Crown will be one of two or three hotels used to house tennis players,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Because players would be able to practice during a 14-day mandatory quarantine period, it would mean players and their teams would have to shuttle directly to and from the tennis center from their hotels and would not be allowed any contact with the public.

The newspaper said that the Australian Open’s original start date of January 18 “had been all but dismissed. January 25 is still a possibility, but February 1 or even February 8 were looming as the most likely of start dates.”

Sometimes, champions say the darndest things

Last week, Nitto ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev was asked during his final virtual news conference if genie appeared and granted him three wishes for next season, what would they be? Without missing a beat, Medvedev replied:

“I mean, as a tennis player, you want as many titles as possible,” he said. “So, if you play 20 tournaments in the year, you win 20 titles. I don’t think anybody ever achieved it, but if you ask me for a wish, it would be my wish.

“Second one, again, as any tennis player, to stay healthy, because that’s how you can play matches,. That’ show you can win matches. Staying healthy is a big part. I think nowadays that’s why we see tennis players actually play into their 40s, some of them, 35 which was not the case before, because we are taking care of our body a lot. 

“So, I need to pick one more. I take Ivo Karlovic’s serve. That’s going to be the third one,” Medvedev said, smiling.

New South Africa coach for Billie Jean King Cup

On Monday, Roxanne Clarke was named South Africa’s new Billie Jean King Cup captain, replacing the outgoing Rene Plant, whose four-year term has expired.

Clarke, 35, who played collegiate tennis in the United States at Florida State and Arizona State and represented South Africa in the Fed Cup in 2002 and 2003, is known for developing young talent. She was appointed Director and Head Coach at the ITF Pacific Oceania Training Centre in Lautoka, Fiji, in 2018, before the center was forced to shut down earlier this year due to Covid-19.

The Way Back Machine – 2003 Davis Cup

On November 30, 2003, Mark Philippoussis overcame injury to defeat Juan Carlos Ferrero and win the Davis Cup for Australia over Spain.

Off-season – Sofia, Bulgaria

What they’re podcasting

Catching up with Bianca Andreescu on the latest Match Point Canada podcast.

What they’re sharing on social media

Elina Svitolina / It’s OK not to be perfect.

Petra Kvitova / The best way to end a day of training.

Stan Wawrinka / Trust yourself …