In these times of social distancing, sport is a casualty. Tournaments stand cancelled, seasons suspended and sport worldwide is almost at a virtual standstill. ESPN will be bringing you serialized accounts of Indian athletes, cooped up in homes or training camps, on what their lives are like now, with calendars scrambled, competitions on hold and plenty of time to kill.

Sania Mirza

Tennis player


What’s this phase been like so far?

We don’t have anything to work toward right now. Nor do we have an idea when we’re going to play next. Both in San Diego at my aunt’s place where we stayed after the Indian Wells was cancelled and here home in Hyderabad, my dad and myself have literally not stepped out. I’m trying to stay active as much as possible. Also it helps that I have a tennis court at home.

What’s your fitness routine like these days?

Since we can’t use gyms now, I’m doing a lot of bodyweight exercises and light running.

Are there more cheat days now?

No, not really. I’m not working out much so can’t allow myself to do that.

What are you watching these days?

Yeah, you know I’ve been trying to catch up on some of the stuff I couldn’t. Most recently, I’ve been watching the last few episodes of This Is Us and Grey’s Anatomy that I’d missed.

Is there a bright side to this current phase of everything coming to halt?

I think it’s allowed all of us the time and space to sit back and reflect on the things we have in life that we probably take for granted. Our health for instance. We’re always so caught up with our lives, social media, chasing goals or trying to get somewhere that the value of what may seem like the little things, are lost on us. This scenario is teaching all of us to appreciate our families and relationships.

Following the outbreak, what’s the most paranoid thing you’ve done to stay safe?

Both while flying to LA and back with my dad for the Indian Wells, we signed up for a VIP terminal service. It’s probably the most drastic thing I’ve ever done. The facility allows you this absolutely private experience while you’re waiting to catch your flight. You don’t have to go through the immigration, customs, security or any of that yourself. Basically you don’t meet anyone till you actually sit on the plane. I’m also a bit of a paranoid mom. But such are the times today, you can hardly help yourself.