Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza is all set to start her 2021 season at the newly-minted Abu Dhabi Women's Tennis Open.
The WTA 500 tournament recently announced the list of seeded players, alongside the names of wildcard entrants into the main draw. The Indian's name features in the second category.
Sania Mirza pressing the reset button
The 34-year-old Sania Mirza had announced her return to the sport at the start of the 2020 season following a prolonged maternity leave. However, she had to cut short her plans for a comeback following the COVID-19 outbreak that affected a large part of the calendar.
Sania Mirza still managed to put up a strong show in the few matches that she got to play. Alongside Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine, the former doubles World No. 1 captured the title in Hobart - which was her first tournament in over three years.
What lies ahead for Sania Mirza?
Sania Mirza has repeatedly stated her desire to play in the Tokyo Olympics, which is slated to start on 23 July in 2021 after a year-long delay. But her immediate goal would be to perform well at the start of the season and get some matches under her belt.
The six-time Grand Slam champion will partner Slovenia's Andreja Klepač at the season opener in Abu Dhabi. Whether the new partnership is meant to last beyond one tournament, remains unclear at this point.
The tournament in Abu Dhabi is set to be followed by a couple of other WTA 500 tournaments and the Australian Open - all of which are scheduled to be played at Melbourne Park in February. But for Sania Mirza, the focus is more likely to be on finding her own game, one match at a time.