The pandemic and lockdown have caused a great deal of stress for Sania Mirza as she and husband Shoaib Malik live in different countries at the moment. But, most importantly, she is worried about little Izhaan not being able to see his father amid the COVID-19 outbreak. “So he got stuck in Pakistan, I got stuck here. That was very difficult to deal with because we have a small child. We don’t know when Izhaan will be able to see his father again. It’s as basic as that,” Sania said in a conversation with The Indian Express.

Sania and her son Izhaan are in lockdown in Hyderabad, while her cricketer husband is in Sialkot, Pakistan, taking care of his 65-year-old mother. Sania, who is living with her parents right now, said she does not have anxiety but with so much uncertainty surrounding coronavirus doesn’t give her much time to think about tennis or work. All she can care about is her child and how to protect him.

“I don’t have anxiety problems but a couple of nights ago, I was having anxiety out of nothing. I was lying in bed and thinking of things because there’s so much uncertainty. Having a toddler in the house, you don’t know how to protect yourself, how to protect your child, you have parents who are older. So, you are not really thinking about work or tennis,” she said in the interview.

Before the outbreak, Sania was rigourously travelling for tournaments. She took a 16-hour flight from Dubai after the historic Fed Cup win. And, then she travelled by road for another three hours to reach Indian Wells, only to get the news that all tennis tournaments have been cancelled.

READ: How Are Indian Sportswomen Spending Time While Social Distancing

“It’s about survival”

Escaping the virus and returning home to her son in Hyderabad just before the lockdown was imposed in India, Sania got lucky. But Shoaib, on the other hand, was competing in the Pakistan Super League when Pakistan went under a similar lockdown and got stuck there.

“It’s about survival,” she adds. During this time at home, she has been ​working on raising money for the daily wage workers. The money she collects will be used to provide food and other basic necessities to the affected ground workers whose lives depend on ​daily wages. Sania said, “It’s almost like you feel guilty to be in a privileged position when you see videos of them.”

Also Read:The Gender Pay Gap In Sport: Why We Must Talk About It

Mother carrying a child on her shoulder moved Sania

Sania Mirza was heart-broken when on Friday saw a picture of a ‘mother carrying a child on her shoulder while dragging a suitcase, and having another child on the suitcase.’ SheThePeople did a story on this, you can find that here.

Recently, the 33-year-old ace tennis player became he first Indian to win the Fed Cup Heart Award for her successful return to the court post motherhood. She donated the prize money to the Telangana CM relief fund.

Read More Stories By Ria Das

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