Sania Mirza could have become a Top-10 singles player if not for wrist injury, says father Imran

India tennis ace Sania Mirza could have achieved incredible heights as a singles player had she not suffered multiple injuries, according to her father Imran Mirza.

Sania, 33, who achieved her best singles ranking of 27 in 2007, underwent two wrist surgeries and three knee operations by 2011. On her comeback, she took to doubles in 2013, rising to No. 1 in April 2015.

"If not for that wrist injury [in 2008], Sania could have become a Top-10 singles player. But once she had the [wrist] surgery, which was the most damaging one, it was over for her. It was not easy for Sania to give up singles.

"She always believed she had it in her to be a Top-10 player," Imran, a former sports journalist, said during a web chat show, Inside Out hosted by WV Raman, former India cricketer and current women's national team coach.

Sania, who won the Junior Wimbledon title in 2003, has won six Grand Slam doubles titles, three in women's doubles (Wimbledon 2015, US Open 2015, Australian Open 2016) and three in mixed doubles (Australian Open 2009, French Open 2012, US Open 2014).

Imran Mirza
Imran Mirza

Earlier this year, she returned to tennis following a maternity break after the delivery of her son, Izhaan, one, and won the Hobart Open—her 42nd doubles title.

Interestingly, it was Imran who urged Sania to give up singles and focus on being the best in doubles.

"In my view, it would have been hard for her to emulate her best singles ranking after that wrist surgery. That's when I decided that it would be better for her to try and become No. 1 in doubles which was only possible by skipping singles.

"I believe in destiny and she was destined to become No. 1 in doubles," added Mirza Sr.

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