Deccan Chronicle

Sania has been inspirational: Bhupathi

Deccan Chronicle| irfan haji

Published on: November 12, 2015 | Updated on: Invalid date

The Indo-Swiss duo capped off a sensational year by clinching $7 million WTA Finals

Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza

Mumbai: Twelve-time Grand Slam winner Mahesh Bhupathi, who won Australian Open (2009) and French Open (2012) titles with Sania Mirza predicted that the current World No 1 women’s doubles player will win more titles with her Swiss partner Martina Hingis. The Indo-Swiss duo capped off a sensational year by clinching $7 million WTA Finals in Singapore recently. It was their ninth title of the year that included two Grand Slam wins. 
"Inspirational. She has really worked hard over the last three years, not only this year. She is putting herself in a position to win matches," Bhupathi said at the unveiling of second set of tickets sales while announcing 108 corporate boxes will be made available for the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) season-2, on Tuesday.
"She has also found in Martina someone who can complement each other very well," added Bhupathi who completed the mixed doubles Career Grand Slam in 2006 by winning Australian Open with Hingis.
With the form she is in, Sania is going to be strong medal hope for India at the Rio Olympics next year. But Bhupathi felt India have great chance in men’s doubles also. 
"Alongside mixed doubles, men’s doubles also we have a good chance. Both Rohan Bopanna, Leander Paes are world class players," the 41-year-old said.
‘Federer-Nadal show will be exciting’
IPTL kicks off on December 2 with the newly introduced Japan leg, followed by stops in Manila, New Delhi, Dubai and Singapore culminating on December 20. Bhupathi, who is the founder and managing director of IPTL was very excited with the prospect of Rafael Nadal versus Roger Federer clash in New Delhi slated for December 12. 
"It is great to have Nadal on board. He’s one of the biggest men’s stars in tennis. I am very excited about Rafa-Federer match-up." While praising youngsters like Yuki Bhambri, Sumit Nagal and Karman Kaur Thandi, Bhupathi said it would be difficult to include talented Indian players in IPTL. 
"This is not an Indian league. Teams are from Japan, UAE, Singapore, Manila and India. India is fortunate to have many players involved. Singapore does not have one, UAE does not have one, Manila has one doubles player. It’s an Asian property. We have to look at top quality as IPTL is broadcast across 154 countries," he reasoned. 
IPTL venue can be shifted next year:
Indian Aces co-owner Gulshan Jhurani revealed the IPTL venue could be shifted from New Delhi to Mumbai next year. "We have got great response from Delhi in inaugural season, But to make IPTL popular in the country we would like to shift it till as many cities as possible," he said. 
"We had many people travelling from Mumbai to Delhi last year and we are keen to do it here. But only indoor stadium option to us in Mumbai is NSCI, which has less crowd capacity. It is acting as a deterrent at the moment though we are mulling to counter that by increase in ticket price. We are looking at other cities also like Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai, taking into cognisance their infrastructure and logistics," he added.



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