India’s Sania Mirza said the elusive dream of winning a medal at her fourth Olympics in Tokyo this year motivated her to return to the WTA circuit after a year-long gap.
Mirza, paired with Slovenian Andreja Klepac, reached the semi-finals in the women’s doubles at the Qatar Open on Wednesday, her first tournament since Feb. 2020 when she played at the same Doha event.
The 34-year-old, who recovered from COVID-19 in January, said she wanted to avenge the defeat she suffered in the Olympic bronze medal play-off match in 2016 when she lost 6-1 7-5 in mixed doubles with partner Rohan Bopanna.
“The Tokyo Olympics was definitely one of the reasons (for my comeback),” six-time Grand Slam doubles champion Mirza said.
“We came really, really close to winning that medal last time (when) we lost the bronze medal match.
“I feel when I sort of close this chapter of my life… an Olympic medal is something that I would have loved to win. So I want to give myself another shot at it.
“Whether I can be or will I be able to? Time will tell, but that is something important to me and it was one of the motivations for me to come back.”—Reuters