A knee surgery cut short Sania Mirza's 2011 season after the US Open but the Indian ace says she cannot afford to be selective about the events she competes in to avoid injuries.
Sania underwent a surgery on her left knee recently but has started practicing. Monday was her sixth day on the courts, although she is not stretching herself much, restricting the hitting sessions to 40-45 minutes.
"It's good to be back on court. I am going slowly. I am fit but don't want to rush things," Sania told PTI after working out in the gym at the DLTA complex.
Asked if she would consider cutting down on the number of competitions in the next season, since injuries keep haunting her, Sania replied in the negative.
"I cannot do that. The singles is like that only. We have to play week in and week out. If you want good ranking, you have to play and we have to deal with injuries on the way," she said.
"I wish I did not need this surgery but unfortunately I got injured after getting close to 60 in rankings. Perhaps needed a break."
Sania had suffered an injury in her right knee at the start of the year and then in the left knee in August. Last season a wrist injury threatened her career but she came back strongly to win a silver medal in the women's singles at the Commonwealth Games.
Sania is planning to get back to competitive tennis from January 1 when she plays a WTA event in Austin, New Zealand.
Sania won three WTA doubles titles - two with Russian Elena Vesnina and one with Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan this season.
She also reached her first ever women's doubles Grand Slam final at the French Open but could not win the title, losing the summit clash to Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.
The Hyderabadi said reaching the final at Roland Garros was the best moment of her season.
"Reaching that final would be highlight of the season. I wish we had won that but making the final itself is very satisfying."
In the singles, she improved her ranking from 166 to 87 but reached the quarter-final stage of only one tournament the whole season.
Reaching the last-eight at Charleston (US) was her best performance as she struggled to move beyond first and second rounds at most tournaments.
However, Sania brushed aside her poor patch in the singles.
"Singles is very demanding. I played about 160 matches after coming back from that wrist injury when I struggled to even lift a tennis racquet. I managed to get to 60 in singles rankings after starting the year at 166, so it is okay. I am happy with it," Sania, who is currently 87th, said.
Sania, ranked 11th in the world in the doubles, said London Olympics is on her mind but the real preparation will start only after playing 20-25 tournaments in the 2012 season.