Tennis

A special bonding with Hingis, says Sania

HUNGRY FOR MORE: Sania Mirza wants to emulate Martina Hingis’s amazing appetite for success. Photo : Nagara Gopal

HUNGRY FOR MORE: Sania Mirza wants to emulate Martina Hingis’s amazing appetite for success. Photo : Nagara Gopal  

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Tennis ace Sania Mirza, fresh from her Wimbledon women’s doubles title, says she is floored by the spirit of the entire nation which again proved how passionate it is in acknowledging the performers in any field. “Yes, it has been a different kind of love-hate relationship for me with some. But, but mostly loving. And, these are the kind of moments we live for (celebrating historic achievements),” she said with a big smile.

“The congratulatory messages from the honourable President of India Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the love of all the millions of Indians who are always there supporting me through the rough and tumble, sharing my moments of joy and ecstasy is so special indeed,” Sania remarked during an interaction on arrival at her residence here on Tuesday.

“Definitely all the wishes pouring in from across the country may not have come from those who know the game but that is also a reflection of how everyone follows Wimbledon. Personally, I repeat it is a dream come true for me,” the four-time Grand Slam winner pointed out. “I feel honoured to hail from such a wonderful country,” she added.

“It has always been a dream since my childhood to play at the Centre Court. Well, in fact, all big things started to happen for me at Wimbledon when I won the junior girls doubles title in 2003. Very few are lucky to win on Centre Court,” she said.

“It is very difficult to pick as which one is the best of the four Grand Slam events I won so far. But, the first one always remains very special for obvious reasons. Well, winning a Grand Slam event is always a special feeling,” feels Sania.

Referring to her victorious doubles partner Martina Hingis, Sania says that her partner’s court craft is the best in the business and that both of them complement each other really well. “While she is good on the left side and me on right sight, we compensate each other’s weaknesses and also play consistently to our strong points,” she pointed out.

“Yes, at 5-all in the decider (Wimbledon women’s doubles final), it could have been anybody’s game. But, we just kept smiling away, tried to keep telling ourselves that all is not over. It is never easy to finish off a match in a Grand Slam. We were a better team with a wonderful chemistry on the day,” observed Sania. “Ít is obvious that I can’t play with someone with whom I can’t get along well. With Hingis it is a special bonding. Her hunger for success is amazing despite winning so many titles. This is what I want to learn from her,” she remarked.

The 28-year-old Hyderabadi says it will be great to win an Olympic medal but right now she is not thinking too far ahead. “I am a believer in short-term goals. If you all remember that at the start of 2015, I said I would be happy to win a Grand Slam title. But now I have won two already. It is a great feeling and mind you these wins have not come just like that,” Sania explained. “The immediate target is to win the US Open title. We are aware being World No. 1 in women’s doubles, many will try to sort us out. So, we have to really keep working hard to maintain our supremacy,” she said.

Referring to the likely impact of her success story on Indian tennis in general, Sania is disappointed at the lack of system in place. “We need one badly and this is where I and Mahesh (Bhupathi) are trying our best. Otherwise, it is still more a trial and error method which is not taking the sport to the desired heights it should have been,” she commented.

What do you miss most despite achieving so much? “Well, in tennis I am still greedy. Still looking for some more big wins. Thanks to my parents who have been rock solid right through my career, I am what I am today,” Sania said. “Well, in life, everyone has some issues. But, I don’t want to talk in front of the media. Right now, I am happy to be at home for the Eid (Ramazan) as the No.1 in the world,” she signed off with a big smile.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 7:14:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/a-special-bonding-with-hingis-says-sania/article7422386.ece

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