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Hungry Sania Mirza wants a bite of 'Big Apple' now

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jul 15, 2015, 6:52 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 1:13 pm IST
Wimbledon doubles champion is already eyeing the season’s last Grand Slam the US Open
Sania Mirza poses with the Wimbledon ladies doubles trophy at her home in Hyderabad on Tuesday (Photo:  P. Surendra)
 Sania Mirza poses with the Wimbledon ladies doubles trophy at her home in Hyderabad on Tuesday (Photo: P. Surendra)

Hyderabad: It’s been only two days since she won the Wimbledon ladies doubles title, but Sania Mirza is already eyeing the season’s last Grand Slam — the US Open to be played in New York,

‘The Big Apple’, in August-September. “It’s a great joy and privilege to win Wimbledon but in tennis we are very greedy if we’re not greedy it’s time I stop playing tennis,” she told a news conference at her home on Tuesday.

 

Excerpts:

On the Wimbledon title: Wimbledon is where it all started for me in 2003 when I won the Junior girls. As a child I always wanted to play there — it’s a great joy and privilege. Very few of us are very lucky to win Wimbledon, so I feel it’s a dream come true. Then, to come back home at 3 in the morning and find so many people at the airport... it’s amazing. It made me feel nostalgic because it happened 12 years ago when I came back after winning junior Wimbledon. It was exactly like that.

Hungry for more: In tennis we are very greedy if we’re not greedy it’s time I stop playing tennis. I’m going to take the week or two off. I have a foot injury. I’ll take some time off and think about hard court summer (leading up to the US Open). To be honest hard court is the surface me and Martina love and so hopefully a few more Slams before I stop.

Olympic dream: An Olympic gold would definitely would be an honour for me. I’ve played in a few Olympics now and it’d be an honour for me to represent my country again.

On the reaction back home: It’s very special that the Prime Minister, the President and a lot of people congratulated me. The amount of wishes that poured in, not just the celebrities but the common people, it’s amazing. I feel honoured to be from a country where we take it so passionately. We love and hate our stars very passionately. I haven’t had that relationship with them though  mostly it’s been love. So I feel very honoured to be able to share this with the whole country.

 

Year-end aim: At the start of 2015 I thought of being No.1 by the end of the year and win a women’s doubles Grand Slam. By the grace of God I’ve been able to achieve both in the first six months of the year. Now, it would be great to win another Slam (the US Open) and the year-end WTA Championships.

Chemistry with Hingis: It’s great. Our games are very compatible — she plays great from the left side of court, I play great from right side of the court. We compensate for each other’s weaknesses and consolidate each other’s strengths. She volleys great, I can set her up great from the back of the court. I serve a lot bigger than her but her court craft is best in the business and has been for years. Together we make a really good pair. She’s achieved so much in life but the hunger to keep performing and winning is truly amazing. I get to learn a lot from that as well.

Pressure of being a top seed: To be the top seed at Grand Slams is also very special, but it also puts a lot of pressure on you — anything less than a win is a failure. If you win, you’re supposed to, that’s how it is. But we’ve been privileged to be in that No.1 position where we’re hunted.

On the Indian hat-trick at Wimbledon: This is a great time since we’ve come back with three titles from Wimbledon. Even in Juniors we won something.

Tennis scene in the country: We do lack a certain kind of system. We’re not the tennis friendly nation in the world, right? We’re a cricketing nation, but tennis is a weak second. We’re trying to do what we can, myself and Mahesh (Bhupathi) are trying to help kids.

On her Academy: We’ll try and do all we can to keep the legacy of tennis going. Whether I’m here or not there’s two training sessions happening every day. Tennis or any sport success isn’t achieved overnight. People try for one, two years and say ‘nothing’s happening’ and quit. When I won Junior Wimbledon it was 10 years of hard work — started at six, won when I was 16. It doesn’t happen in a flash, people need to be patient. You have to take rational decisions but can’t play one year and stop.

 

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