Sania Mirza, who returned to action at the Dubai Open after recovering from a calf injury at the Australian Open, still feels she needs a bit more practice to be ready to face competitive events. Sania, who returned to professional tennis from her maternity leave won the women’s doubles title before a 3.5 cm muscle tear ruled her out of the tournament in Melbourne. Also Read - Sania Mirza Opens up on Battle With Depression After 2008 Olympics, Says Remember Crying For No Reason

Sania played the Dubai Duty Free Tennis championship for four weeks with Caroline Garcia of France as her partner but they bowed out in the pre-quarterfinals. Also Read - Tennis | Sania Mirza Returns to WTA Circuit With a Win in Qatar Open

“Coming back from injury is tougher mentally than physically, because it’s not so much the pain itself as the fear of another pull, a strain, a tear, given that the memory of the setback is still fresh,” Sania told Times of India. Also Read - Australian Open 2021: Ankita Raina Becomes Fifth Indian Woman Player to Feature in Grand Slam Main Draw

“It hurts on the step after the serve, when you want to put pressure, go full throttle or when I’m reacting, pushing to the right side. The tear doesn’t hurt, it’s the muscles around it that haven’t been used or strengthened enough that is a concern.”

Ahead of the Qatari capital of Doha, Sania is seeking match fitness, match form and practice.

“I need a bit more practice. It has been like five-six weeks and I have hit for only six-seven days in that time,” she said. “I’ve been able to do more physical stuff, but still you need to hit more balls, to get the feel. It’s normal to feel like that after an injury. I would’ve liked to have got a full week of practice before Dubai.

“Sometimes, you have to hope that your body is feeling better and test it as you go along. The best part though is that I don’t feel anything with the actual tear.”