Tennis star Sania Mirza would jump at the chance to play competitive tennis behind closed doors, after admitting she worked for 2 years to come back to playing the sport.
When sports do eventually return, the prospect of playing games behind closed doors appears a very real possibility amid the current health crisis across the globe. Sania Mirza is the second top level Tennis player after Rafael Nadal to advocate organising the sporting events without fans.
Tennis like every other sport has been hit really hard due to the deadly virus. The first major tournament to be hit by the spread of the coronavirus was French Open, which was initially scheduled to be played from May 24 June 7. The Grand Slam has now been postponed until Sept 20 Oct 4. Wimbledon 2020 has also been pushed by a year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think it’s like ‘beggars can’t be chosers situation right now’. What is the other option? Of course, it’s not ideal. Of course, you want to play for the fans. It’s an amazing electrifying atmosphere when fans are out there,” Sania Mirza told Boria Majumdar, India Today Consulting Editor Sports.
Speaking at India Today E-Conclave, Sania Mirza conceded that nothing could replace the feeling of fans cheering for you in a court but it’s better to play behind closed doors than not play at all.
“If you walk into a court and see fans cheering for you. There is nothing that can replace it. But what is the other option if we say we don’t want to play sport without fans? Then we don’t play tennis at all, we don’t play sport at all. I don’t know if that’s a better option.
“I would not personally have a problem with that (playing in front of empty stands). For me, travel is a bigger issue. To get to the tournament. How are you getting to the tournament two weeks before? I do not think it is as simple as that…okay let’s not have fans and have the sport. It’s not as simple as that. There is a lot more risk involved.”
“Personally, if you ask me ‘If I would play an empty stadium?’, Yes. I would. I worked for 2 years to come back to playing tennis. I came back from giving birth and all that stuff. Obviously, it’s been stopped midway. So I would do everything to get back to playing tennis again.”