CHENNAI: “When I started to play tennis, I wanted to be a doctor. I had to choose between tennis and being a doctor and I chose tennis. Now, thanks to MGR University, both my dreams have come true,” said tennis star Sania Mirza, when she was conferred with the degree of doctor of letters by MGR Educational and Research Institute University, here on Thursday.
Attired in a dress befitting the occasion, Sania entered the auditorium making the photographers go berserk. She said, “I feel honoured. A special thanks to MGR University.”
Responding to the University’s wish that she start a tennis academy in Bangalore, Chennai or Hyderabad, Sania said she would certainly consider it.
Sania, now ranked 101, said she is enjoying her training sessions with Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and the others in Bangalore.
“I am training five to six hours a day with an American coach and am enjoying it. We are punishing our bodies. In a way it’s relaxing to come here,” she said.
Goals for the season
On her goals for the new season Sania, accompanied by her father Imran Mirza, said smiling, “I am just living for the moment. At the moment, I am enjoying the doctorate.”
Giving the welcome address, Prof. R.M. Vasagam, Vice-President (Administration), MGR University, said that the University was proud to award the doctorate to Sania for achieving excellence in sports and for being the first woman to be seeded in a Grand Slam event.
A.C. Shanmugam, Chancellor, MGR University, said Sania had been a role model for all the tennis players who were aspiring to reach international standards.