Like most, the pandemic-induced lockdown has caused a great deal of anxiety for Sania Mirza. But it isn’t just the unknown nature of the virus or being confined indoors that makes the tennis star uneasy. In her case, it is also the fact that her family is separated: Sania and her child Izhaan in Hyderabad, India, and her husband, cricketer Shoaib Malik, in Sialkot, Pakistan.
Sania, who returned to the tennis court in January after two years, was travelling non-stop for tournaments, escaping the virus along the way, and returned home from the USA just before the lockdown was imposed. Malik was competing in the Pakistan Super League when similar measures were enforced there. “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 on Facebook Live. “We are both pretty positive and practical people. He has a mother who is over 65 and by herself, so he needs to be there. So in the end, it worked out best that he was there with her. We hope we are healthy and come out of this on the right side of it.”