Tennis

I would like to win a few more: Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza, after winning her fifth Grand Slam title and the second consecutive one in the last two months, shared her thoughts on the latest achievements and her plans in an exclusive interview with The Hindu on Monday from New York.

You have now won all the Grand Slams at different times. What is that you are really aiming now?

A sportsman is never satisfied with his or her achievements and we are greedy people. I would like to win a few more Grand Slams before I retire and want to stay No. 1 in the world for as long as possible.

What were the pre-tournament expectations?

I feel I am playing the best tennis of my career right now and believe I have a chance to win every tournament that I enter in. Hard courts are my favourite surface and before the start of the tournament, I felt that with a bit of luck and with the kind of tennis Martina and I have been playing, we were in with a decent chance at the US Open.

How difficult was it after losing the mixed doubles to stay focused in the championship?

As sportsmen, we have to learn to take losses and disappointments in our stride and cannot afford to let one bad day affect us.

Did winning Wimbledon doubles title before this really help you?

Winning Wimbledon naturally gave us a lot of self-belief but in tennis one has to produce sustained performances day after day and we did just that at the US Open.

Does this mean there is pressure of expectations on you?

I don’t remember ever playing without the pressure of expectations. People have always expected a lot from me but I expect even more out of myself once I enter the court. I have always considered expectations to be a privilege that comes from having delivered in the past and feel proud to live up to these expectations.

What has been the defining moment in this US Open campaign?

We were so dominant throughout this tournament that we did not lose a set while winning the title. But when we came back from 0-5 down to win the first set against the Chan sisters in the quarterfinals, it gave us a lot of confidence.

With each tournament, you and Hingis seem to be stepping into a different zone?

Martina and I complement each other very well with our style of tennis and this makes us a formidable team. Of course, we thoroughly enjoy our time on the court and this helps to relieve pressure in critical moments.

How do you rate this US Open victory compared to the other Grand Slam titles?

Every Grand Slam victory is a huge triumph for me and my country and each of these is special. I have always done well at the US Open because I love playing on that surface and a lot of Indians come out to support me in the US. In singles, I had my best performance in a Grand Slam here when I reached the last 16 stage. But I had never won a title here before and winning it this year makes it very special.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 5:03:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/i-would-like-to-win-a-few-more-sania-mirza/article7652641.ece

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