Sania Mirza inspired by Serena Williams ahead of comeback to competitive tennis

first_img Press Trust of India August 1, 2019UPDATED: August 1, 2019 14:15 IST In her quest to make a comeback to competitive tennis after more than two years after becoming a mother, the 32-year-old Sania is training vigorously (Getty Images)HIGHLIGHTSSania Mirza is working towards returning to competitive action in January 2020The India tennis star said she is not looking to prove anything to anyone on comebackSania Mirza said she is not going to rush her retur to competitive actionStar Indian tennis player Sania Mirza says she has achieved everything in her path-breaking career and has “nothing to prove” in her second innings, which is likely to begin by January 2020.In her quest to make a comeback to competitive tennis after more than two years after becoming a mother, the 32-year-old Sania is training vigorously for about four hours a day and has shed 26 kg in the process.Before taking leave from the circuit to start a family, Sania won six doubles Grand Slam titles — including three mixed — achieved the number one rank, won medals at multi-disciplinary events apart from laying hands on a year-end WTA Finale title with Swiss great Martina Hingis.”In my career, I have achieved everything which I could have dreamt of. And whatever happens next will be a bonus for me. I thought I will be able to comeback by August but probably by January, it looks like a possibility,” Sania told PTI in an interview.”Having (son) Izhan is the biggest blessing I could have. If I am able to come back, it will be amazing. He’s (son) my inspiration to get back to being fit. If I do comeback, it will not be to prove anything. The only reason to comeback would be that I love playing and competing.”Byt why the “if”? has she still not made up her mind?”I say so because I still have to see how my body reacts. The picture will be clear in the next two months. I don’t want to compete when I am not ready. There is no point in coming back and getting injured.”advertisement’It’s nice to see people like Serena competing at Grand Slams after having a baby’Not many tennis players have enjoyed success after motherhood. Only Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong and Kim Clijsters have won a singles major after giving birth to their children.In the current generation, only a few figure in top-50 after becoming mothers. But American great Serena Williams remains a fierce competitor at number nine in the world after becoming a mother.Then there is Victoria Azarenka, who figures in top-50 in both singles and doubles, after giving birth to baby boy Leo.German player Tatjana Maria, ranked 100, is also a mother and won a doubles title last year with Britain’s Heather Watson.”There is enough self motivation to come back but it’s nice to see people like Serena competing at Grand Slams after having a baby. It’s obviously very inspiring,” Sania said.Knee issues playing in Sania’s mind ahead of impending returnElaborating on the time she has taken for planning her comeback, Sania said a past knee issue is still bothering her and she needs more time to compete in the physically demanding pro circuit.”I have been able to get back to being as strong as I was before, which is great. But I still have a bit of knee issue. It has not gone away completely. I had this knee injury even when before I got pregnant that’s why I had stopped playing at the end of 2017. It’s not bad but still there, lingering.”However, she did not divulge what exactly is the injury.”I don’t want to get into what problems I have with my knee but I had surgery on the knee before.”Talking about her training and results, Sania said, “I train about three-four hours a day in two sessions with fitness and with tennis it’s more than that. Initially the focus was on losing weight but now it’s back to same rigorous sessions I was having before,” she said.”I did not know how the body was going to react. You can’t actually anticipate after giving birth to a baby. I put on 23 kilos, I lost 26 kilos now. I am trying to become strong and to play at international level, I still need time.”Sania, who worked with her Australian trainer Robert for a few months in Dubai, further said she won’t set any result-oriented goals for herself.”There is no goal. Whatever happens in life hereon, regrading tennis, it will be just a plus. Once I make that comeback, I will see where I stand as an athlete. Right now I just want to make a comeback.””Expectations are high as usual but I have not played tennis in the last two years. If I can make a comeback, Tokyo (Olympics) is something I am looking at.Also Read | Prajnesh Gunneswaran ousted from Los Cabos Open after 2nd-round defeatAlso Read | Davis Cup, India vs Pakistan: Mahesh Bhupathi, players seek assurance on securityAlso See:advertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Sania MirzaFollow Serena WilliamsFollow India tennis news Next Sania Mirza inspired by Serena Williams ahead of comeback to competitive tennis6-time Grand Slam winner Sania Mirza said she is working hard in order to return to competitive tennis for the first time after giving birth. The tennis star is expected to be back in action by January 2020.advertisementlast_img read more

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Aid agencies ready to help ease suffering in iconic Aleppo once truce

“We are ready to go as soon as we have the pause, and we have a two-way corridor with supplies going in to the people in Eastern Aleppo, but also Western Aleppo, which has now become much more exposed to problems, and which has enormous access problems as well,” Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Syria, told reporters in Geneva today.Stressing that supplies have to go in, and voluntary evacuation out of Aleppo has to be possible, Mr. Egeland said humanitarian pauses and a temporary end to the fighting are badly needed now, more than ever, “for the iconic and much suffering city of Aleppo,” where unimpeded access is “desperately needed.” Voluntary evacuation of civilians, plus wounded and sick, should take place to the places of their choosing and where they feel safe.“So indeed, we do not have classical humanitarian corridors at all, in Aleppo, but we’re working with everybody, including Russia, to get those, and I think the discussions have been very positive, in a sense that everybody now says that we are working towards the same goal of having two-ways humanitarian corridors, of having better protection of civilians, including medical installations,” he said, referring to Russia’s plan, announced last week, to set up so-called “exit corridors” to allow for the distribution of food, as well as provide an opportunity for civilians to flee Aleppo.Mr. Egeland noted that to his knowledge, the number of civilians leaving the area is “very limited so far.” The UN estimates that more than 250,000 people are trapped in the city.As for the wider humanitarian situation, he said that while the UN had hoped to reach 1.2 million people in Syria’s besieged and hard-to-reach areas affected by conflict in July, only some 40 per cent of that number had actually been reached. “It is heartbreaking really, for humanitarian workers that are ready with supplies, with trucks and people who are willing to risk a lot, that we were prevented from reaching 60 per cent of [those] we had hoped to.”“The main reason for this is the fighting. There is now cross-fire. There is fighting in too many places and that affects, more than anything else, the besieged areas. We were able to reach four besieged areas – Al Waer, Moadamiyah, East Harasta, and with air drops, Deir ez-Zor,” Mr. Egeland stated, explaining that this was just about 38 per cent of the people in these besieged areas and that 14 such areas were not reached at all. Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Jan Egeland. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy “Residents are unable to access adequate food for their daily needs in many besieged areas, where UN agencies have estimated hundreds of cases of malnutrition,” Dainius Puras, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, said in a news release. He added that people struggle to access safe, clean water, and in some areas residents are drinking highly polluted water with harmful chemicals that have significant health risks.More than five million people live in UN-classified ‘hard to reach’ areas of Syria. Of these, almost 600,000 people live in 18 besieged areas in Syria, 15 by the Government of Syria or its allies, and three by armed opposition groups or the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), according to the UN.In opposition-controlled areas of Aleppo, approximately 250,000 civilians are completely encircled and at risk. In areas besieged by the Government of Syria or its allies, humanitarian agencies cannot deliver assistance without its approval, a cumbersome procedure subject to rejections and delays, according to the news release.“They are absolutely prohibited from depriving civilians of basic goods such as food or medical assistance needed for survival, said Mr. Puras, underscoring that “all people in Syria must have their fundamental human rights guaranteed.”“All human rights – including the rights to life, to health, to food, to water, to education and to freedom of movement – must be protected in Syria,” the Special Rapporteur concluded.Meanwhile, World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Ertharin Cousin, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, and International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director-General William Lacy Swing announced the successful completion of a relief operation to provide more than 75,000 people stranded at the Syria-Jordan border with food and humanitarian relief items.In a joint press statement the agencies said that they had completed the urgent relief operation to provide a one-month ration of desperately-needed food and hygiene supplies to. “Unable either to cross the border or turn back, the situation facing these women, men and children has grown more dire by the day,” the agencies stated and explained that sheltering in makeshift tents in harsh desert conditions with temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius and sudden sand storms, the people are without sufficient food and have barely enough water to survive. “Life-saving health care is also urgently required. Pregnant women, children, the elderly and the sick are especially vulnerable,” they added, thanking Government of Jordan for supporting the critical operation, and looking forward to further efforts to reach people at the berm with humanitarian assistance “in time to save their lives.” At the same press briefing, which took place after the latest meeting of the Humanitarian Taskforce of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), which is co-chaired by Russia and the United States and comprises the UN, the Arab League, the European Union and 16 other countries that have been working on a way forward since late last year, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria, gave a general overview of the situation with a particular emphasis on the political process.Noting that last week UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura had announced his intention to hold the intra-Syrian talks towards the end of August, he said the UN remains committed to that and “we will do everything possible to make sure that these talks are fruitful.”He explained that for the talks to be fruitful, the cessation of hostilities has to stand and be reinforced, and in that regard, the US and Russia, as co-chairs, are in discussions on that very issue. “Also, the humanitarian situation has to improve. Not much has been accomplished over the past month, largely due to the intensification of the military activities. That is why we attach great importance to the discussions between the co-chairs on that issue.”Asked by a reporter if “time is slipping away” from the UN to alleviate the suffering in Aleppo, Mr. Ramzy said he did not believe that was the case and indeed there are “intensive consultations” going on between the co-chairs regarding the cessation of hostilities. “We continue to talk to all the interested parties to make sure the cessation of hostilities is in place to allow us to move ahead. So I think there still is time, we have not given up hope, we cannot give up hope,” he said, adding: “So, bear with us, and I think in the next few days there might be some movement.” Further, he said the UN believed it is important is to have credible talks, in which parties will engage in a serious manner, “and that requires the regional parties to be on board, but also the situation on the ground – whether the humanitarian side, or the military – and we are all working very hard on that.”In related news, a UN human rights expert today called on the warring parties to take urgent actions to urgently ensure the rights of all those in Syria’s besieged areas and allow rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief, while calling for the safe and unhindered evacuation of civilians who wish to leave. By crane, aid reaches desperate Syrians stranded at the Jordanian border. Photo: WFP read more

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