Sania geared up for Olympics but not predicting medal

Sania will pair up with young Prarthana Thombare in women’s doubles and with Rohan Bopanna in mixed doubles.

July 18, 2016 12:49 pm | Updated 12:49 pm IST - Mumbai

Ace tennis player Sania Mirza is geared up to represent the country in next month’s Olympics but she refused to predict winning a medal in the Rio Games.

Sania will pair up with young Prarthana Thombare in women’s doubles and with Rohan Bopanna in mixed doubles in the Games, and she says she will prepare for the Olympics the same way she does for every big tournament.

“You try and play every tournament, play every match at merit, give your best and hopefully come back with a medal.

If you don’t (win a medal) then you try again. You cannot sit and predict what is going to happen,” she told PTI in an interaction when asked about chances of clinching a medal in Rio.

Sania’s autobiography ‘Ace against odds’ was launched by Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in Mumbai on Sunday.

Asked about her chemistry with Bopanna, Sania said, “It’s been very good. Me and Rohan have known each other for a very long time, we have played a lot together. So we are looking forward to playing together in Olympics.”

The women’s doubles world number one player said to achieve success in the Olympics, the biggest inspiration was to play for the country.

“You have to be your own inspiration, you have to be there because you want to be there (in the Olympics). The biggest inspiration is for playing for your country and there cannot be bigger inspiration than that,” she said.

Sania, however, said that she was not preparing differently for the Olympics.

“As tennis players, we can’t really prepare (ourselves) for one thing that comes you know. I am playing in Canada a week before the Olympics. This will be my third Olympics, we prepare for it the same way we prepare for every big tournament that we play, be it Wimbledon or US Open. So, we are looking forward to it,” said the 29-year-old.

Asked if she has any concern about Zika virus in the backdrop of some tennis players pulling out of the Olympics, Sania said “I am going to Rio for the Olympics. I am sure we will try and take whatever precautions we can. But there is no so to say an injection or something you can take.

“I have already taken the yellow fever injection which was supposed to take. We will see whatever we can do but I am going (for the Olympics).”

Recently Prarthana had said that she was not scared of facing big names in Rio with the world number 1 Sania at her side.

Asked about Prarthana’s comments, Sania said, “That’s really good. I think younger girls, younger kids today so to say are so much more confident. It’s amazing if that’s how she feels and that she is going to play at the big stage and she is not frightened at all, that’s going to be amazing.

“But I am sure there will be some nerves, I hope there will be, because nerves are always good to have. She has been around me for a long time and hopefully that experience should help her.”

Asked how will she react if she faces her doubles partner Martina Hingis on the opposite side, Sania said, “I have already faced her twice this year — in Australian Open and French Open. We have played against each other, so there is no reaction.

“It is very tough for us to play against each other because we are such good friends and we know each other in and out. But at the end of the day we are professionals. So, we have to go out and give our best and whoever is better on that day wins. But hopefully if it happens it should happen in the final.”

Talking about the tournaments she will play this year, she said, “I will leave for Canada on July 22 and then I go to Rio for Olympics. I will then go to Cincinnati (in USA) and then to New York for US Open. That’s my immediate plan.”

Asked why she chose to write an autobiography at 29, she replied, “Let’s hope I have a long career ahead, nobody knows what’s going to happen in future. I thought I was going to finish my career in 2010 and here in 2016 I am still playing.

“I thought it was the right time, there is no right or wrong time, it’s what you feel what is the right time for you.

For me I felt like so good time to do it. I have a lot of stories to tell and have been able to tell. If I have more, we can always write a sequel.”

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