In a letter signed "Sania Mirza, a mother and a tennis player", the winner of six Grand Slam titles has opened up about the challenges of balancing a career with motherhood and how pregnancy changed her. Sania Mirza's "Ode to All Mothers" is an open letter to women across the world who balance family and personal goals every day.
The 34-year-old gave birth to son Izhaan Mirza Malik in 2018. Two years later, she made a triumphant return to tennis, winning the Hobart International women's doubles title.
In her letter, Sania Mirza credited American tennis player Serena Williams for inspiring her on her journey.
"It is often said that a woman has to choose between becoming a mother and chasing her dreams," she wrote. "Today, I write this letter sharing my journey and also a little bit about the inspiration I got from Serena Williams and her journey."
Speaking about the challenges of having a fulfilling career while being a mother, especially as a sportsperson, she wrote: "When it is sports, it is not something that comes naturally to families to say that we have a daughter and we want her to become a professional sportsperson.
"Things get even more precarious when one conceives and the first thing that clouds the judgement is whether I will be able to make a comeback or not?"
Her open letter had a special tribute for Serena Williams, mother to three-year-old Olympia.
"Having seen Serena, playing in the same era and being around her and watching her gripping documentary Being Serena was like watching her in reality. It shows so much about her personality, her fighting spirit, her passion and her will to succeed even after achieving so much," said Sania Mirza.
The Padma Bhushan recipient also spoke about her pregnancy, terming it an experience that every woman should go through for it "teaches you the selfless kind of love that at least I never knew existed for me."
"I think pregnancy and having a baby made me a better person," wrote Sania Mirza.
She touched upon the topic of getting back in shape post-pregnancy to winning at Hobart earlier this year.
"Having put-on around 23kgs during my pregnancy, I wasn't sure if I was ever going to get back to being fit and playing tennis again.
"However, I lost around 26 kilos with a lot of workout regimes and very strict diets and came back to tennis because that's what I know, love and do."
Her win at Hobart she said was "pretty amazing", adding that she was proud of herself for competing on court again. She concluded her open letter by writing "It sometimes becomes hard to find hope in difficult situations but our love for our profession and family equally, helps as gain that balance" and ended with a shout-out to Serena Williams.
Within an hour of being posted, "An Ode to All Mothers" by Sania Mirza has collected over 20,000 'likes' on Instagram, along with hundreds of comments and compliments.
"Nicely penned down Champion!" wrote Sakshi Singh Dhoni.
"What a champion," said Samantha Ruth Prabhu.
Singer Neeti Mohan wrote: "You are and will always be an inspiration."Click for more trending news