'I remember not coming out of my room to even eat a meal for over a month.'
India's tennis star Sania Mirza said pulling out of her match at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 because of injury affected her mentally as she went into depression for nearly four months believing her tennis career was over.
Sania was forced to retire from the first round match against Czech Republic's Iveta Benesova at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing because of a wrist injury.
"Yeah, I mean a bunch of times. Not just tennis-wise, but also out of the court because of that, you know because I think many times we rely so much on our career to bring happiness into our lives, we kind of forget that career is just a part of our lives, it is not really our life. At 34, it is a lot clearer in my mind but at 20, there were a lot of incidents where I honestly felt that I could not do this," Sania said in a YouTube interview for Mind Matters.
"One incident was when I had to pull out of my match at the Olympics. It was the 2008 Beijing Olympics and I had a very bad wrist injury. I went into depression for three to four months after that, I remember crying for no reason. I would be absolutely fine and then I would burst into tears. I remember not coming out of my room to even eat a meal for over a month," she added.
Sania has won a total of 14 medals -- including six gold medals -- at three major events including the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games, and the Afro-Asian Games. She also has won six Grand Slam titles -- three doubles titles and three mixed doubles titles.
"I felt that I will never be able to play tennis ever again. I am a bit of a control freak so for me not being able to do things on my terms was very difficult to digest. The fact that I was being forced into not being able to do what I love or what I do, was really bothering me. It's a lot for anybody at any age, but for a 20-year-old to read that you're finished or you are not going to be able to compete at Olympics ever again."
Sania also revealed that her injury was so bad that she was not even able to comb her hair.
"To put into context, my wrist was so bad that I was not able to comb my hair. I had lost complete motion, and I needed surgery. After surgery, it got worse. It was a complicated thing that was happening. I felt I let my family and country down. My family helped me see the right direction and I got the help I needed. I happened to win two medals at the Commonwealth Games that happened in India," she said.