Earlier this week, Sania Mirza sat down with The Body Serve Tennis Podcast to reflect on some big changes in her career, Olympic disappointment, the influence of her parents, and some other odds and ends. Mirza went on to win the doubles title alongside her new partner, Barbora Strycova. Mirza will also maintain her position as top ranked doubles player, one she previously held jointly with Martina Hingis. By beating Hingis in the Cincinnati final, Mirza now occupies the WTA penthouse by herself.
Here are a few snippets of the interview, with the full audio available on the next episode of The Body Serve. In the meantime, listen to our interview with Svetlana Kuznetsova.
On her split with Martina Hingis:
We had a great 17, 18 months together, but sometimes you just have to move on and both of us thought that it was the right time. And I'm so glad that we both felt the same way, because we can sit across each other and still go for a dinner or something like that and it's still absolutely fine.
On how her current partnership with Barbora Strycova came to be:
I've known Barbora for a long time, we've known each other literally from juniors. So, many many years and we just never happened to play together. And obviously you try and look for someone who can complement your game and I felt like she could. It just worked out, timing worked out.
On her activism:
I've done everything that's close to my heart, and whether it's been criticized at times, I've always done everything that I feel is right in my heart, that's how i function.
On the influence of her parents in shaping how she views the world:
We come from a family of two girls and we've never had a feeling that my parents wanted a boy or that we were deprived of a son . . . we've always been treated as equally, I never felt like if I was a boy I would have different rules in my house . . . whatever I do believe, a lot of it, has come from them. And they've helped me become the strong person that I am.
On being named to the TIME 100 most influential list in 2016:
Amazing. These are honours that you obviously don't really dream of, these are things that just happen. Sometimes it does feel surreal and does feel like it's a dream, but I've been very blessed to be able to be noticed not just on the tennis court but off it as well.