Hyderabad: The retired Sania Mirza on Saturday said she wants to be a part of the change in Indian tennis and is open to joining sports administration or even become a coach in future.
The 36-year-old from Hyderabad bowed out of international tennis after a first round defeat at the WTA Dubai Duty Free Championships along with American partner Madison Keys last month.
“At this moment, I want to take a break. But I don’t know. I would be very open to the fact that I would like to see a change. Just wanting to see a change, a change does not happen. You have to try and be part of the change,” she told reporters.
“I am happy to be part of the change in whatever capacity that’s possible. I cannot commit to a timeline of when I want to do that. But it is something that I am open to. It’s not something I am against.”
Sania will play two exhibition matches as part of her farewell on Sunday at the Lal Bahadur Stadium here.
“Like I said, if I want to stand on the court and coach. I don’t know. I never say never for things. Because, I don’t know these things. But, I am very open.
“For example, Karman Kaur Thandi was in Dubai last month and she was practicing for two weeks at one of my academies. I was helping her for two weeks.
“I was very happy to do that…Whether I want to do that on a full time basis or not, I don’t know as of now, but I am open to helping,” she added.
Sania, who won six Grand Slam titles, including three women’s doubles with Swiss legend Martina Hingis, said a proper system can only produce champions.
“We need a system to support these young girls. If we have a solid system in place we can produce champions.
“We can’t produce champions every 20, 30 years, we have to produce them every year. If we put a system in place, we can do that. If we want to send our kids to sports, literally there is no one here to go to,” she said.
Talking about the reasons which prompted her to quit, Sania said: “Well, my body… I have had so many surgeries. That is taking me 45 minutes to warm up before the actual warm-up of the match. The physio is working on me more time than I am actually on the tennis court.
“I have had a 20-year long career. I wanted to finish on my own terms. I want to finish when I am still playing well. I want to finish when I am on top. I also want different things in life now.
“And the most important thing is, I would like to spend more time with my son… I feel like my priorities are different today.”