34-year-old Mirza has already competed in three editions of the Olympics. Her closest shot at winning a medal came at the 2016 Rio Games, when she and partner Rohan Bopanna went down in the mixed doubles bronze medal play-off match.
In a recent interview with News18, Sania Mirza spoke about her Tokyo Olympics aspirations, while also stating that she wants to improve her ranking.
“Competing at the Olympics for the fourth consecutive time is definitely a priority. Besides doing well in the Grand Slams, I would also like to improve my ranking quickly to be able to enter the major tournaments without my protected ranking,” said Mirza.
Sania Mirza is currently 157th in the world doubles rankings. However, she could use her protected ranking to enter a limited number of events in the coming months.
There are things beyond one’s control and one has to learn to deal with it: Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza returned to the professional circuit after giving birth to her son in early 2020. After winning the first event of her comeback in Hobart, Australia, the six-time Grand Slam winner saw her return hampered by injury and then the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indian, who did not compete in 2020 after the tour resumed in August, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year.
So far in 2021, Sania Mirza has played in two WTA events - reaching the semi-finals in Doha and the Round of 16 in Dubai.
"It’s never easy when one is unable to get momentum but there are things beyond one’s control and one has to learn to deal with the cards one is dealt. As for coping with COVID-19, I think the whole world is suffering during these traumatic times, and compared to that, my problems are minuscule and insignificant,” Sania Mirza added.
Mirza was scheduled to play in this week's Miami Open, but her doubles partner Kim Clijsters had to pull out due to injury. Clijsters is also a multiple Grand Slam winner and a mother on the comeback trail.
The Indian added that she hoped her partnership with Clijsters, which remains on the table for the future, would inspire more mothers to return to the sport.
"There is also a possibility that if we prove successful as a pair, women’s tennis could see a lot more mothers coming back into the game after parenthood. At some point in the future, at an appropriate time, Kim and I could give it a shot again," Mirza concluded.