Sania Mirza has the tenacity to be calm on the court and over the years has built up her personality to shut people up when a stray question comes her way. And after wording her career in her autobiography titled ‘Ace Against Odds’, she put words on mainstream media to hit back at TV journalist Rajdeep Sardesai for a sexist question.
On air with Sardesai, Mirza was questioned about motherhood and settling down, a question she didn’t take too lightly. The popular anchor in the end acknowledged it wasn’t something he might ask a male athlete. The exchange happened in the following manner.
Sardesai: Amidst all the celebrityhood, when is Sania going to settle down? Is it going to be in Dubai? Is it going to be in any other country? What about motherhood… building a family… I don’t see all that in the book, it seems like you don’t want to retire just yet to settle down.
Mirza: You don’t think I’m settled?
Sardesai: You don’t talk about retirement, about raising a family, about motherhood, what’s life beyond tennis is going to be…
Mirza: You sound disappointed that I’m not choosing motherhood over being number one in the world at this point of time. But I’ll answer your question anyway, that’s the question I face all the time as a woman, that all women have to face — the first is marriage and then it’s motherhood. Unfortunately, that’s when we’re settled, and no matter how many Wimbledons we win or number ones in the world we become, we don’t become settled. But eventually it will happen, not right now. And when it does happen I’ll be the first one to tell everybody when I plan to do that.
Sardesai: I must apologise, I framed that question very badly. I promise you, you’re right, I would never ask this question to a male athlete…
Mirza: I’m so glad, you’re the first journalist to apologise to me on national television.
Later in the interaction when asked how she’d like to be remembered, Mirza simply and yet smartly said, “(hope my achievements set a precedent that) no girl is asked at the age of 29 as to when she is going to have a child when she’s number one in the world,” before adding, “that’s no settling in.”
Rajdeep understood the subtle jibe and once again apologised for the question.