Former Doubles World No.1 Sania Mirza says she hopes to be back on a tennis court in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In an interview with Gulf News, the six-time Grand Slam champion - who is expecting her first child in October with cricketer husband Shoaib Malik - talked about her views on parenting, and added that she would like to be back competing in time for the next Games.
"We are still in 2018 and my goal is obviously to try and come back to 2020 Olympics," she said. "It’s a realistic goal to set because it will be the end of the year after I have my child."
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) July 10, 2018
The 31-year-old paid tribute to players who have returned from maternity leave previously - including Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters - calling them "incredible".
She added that although her baby will be her priority, she will continue with her career and charity work.
"I have not followed the ‘traditional women route’ in my life. I have always been the odd one out and I am glad that I was one," she explained. "My parents have always supported all my decisions — so whether I was playing tennis in Hyderabad at a time when nobody dreamed of playing tennis or winning Wimbledon or marrying the person that I loved or having a child after eight years of our marriage — I have always lived life on my own terms."
Mirza also revealed how sport helps the domestic routine in the Sania-Shoaib household after eight years of marriage.
"Sport has given us both a lot, but it has also taken a lot from us to achieve what we have. But we understand the pressures, both on and off the field.
"There are days when we are both playing matches and he will have a great day, while I had a terrible one. I have to be happy for him, but I can’t be as I’m sad for myself. But he does not take that personally. It has happened to him too. Sport has taught us how to take victories and defeats. It has taught us how to bounce back.
"For us, sport is a way of life and we always believe that tomorrow’s always another day."