ANDHRA PRADESH

I owe it to my family: Sania

Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza  

V. V. Subrahmanyam

Tennis sensation dedicates her biggest win to parents, nation

HYDERABAD: For Sania Mirza, creating history seems to have become a habit. And, not surprisingly, the tennis sensation from the city dedicates her latest and arguably her biggest career win – mixed doubles crown (the first by an Indian woman in any Grand Slam) in the Australian Open – to her parents Imran Mirza and Naseema Mirza, sister Anam Mirza and to the entire nation.

“I owe every bit of it to all of them even as I celebrate my first-ever Grand Slam win. For, they kept cheering me up right through,” she remarked in a chat with The Hindu from Melbourne Airport on her way back home on Sunday.

Support

“It is a great feeling after a hectic week. The kind of support I got from everyone concerned is unbelievable. I only hope that this is just the beginning of a new chapter in my career,” Sania observed. “You know these sorts of results don’t come overnight. It is the culmination of hard work over the years. And, this win coming so soon on my comeback train after a six-month injury break is all the more memorable,” says the champion.

For his part, the proud father Imran Mirza, who is with Sania, says it is an ecstatic feeling out to be there at the venue to witness the winning moments.

“There was tension as well as excitement before and during the final. But, that is what Grand Slam is all about. I am really happy that she pulled it through and we are also grateful to Mahesh Bhupathi (mixed doubles partner) for the kind support he gave to Sania,” he said.

Well, even as Sania was scripting a memorable moment on the tennis court, it was tension for her mother, Naseema Mirza, at home.

“I feel on top of this world at the end of it all. This is a special day in our life. I will remember this for a long, long time to come,”

she exclaimed even while recalling that her dream to see Sania win a Grand Slam singles title when she was watching Steffi Graf at one of the Wimbledon finals in late ‘80s. “Well, the singles dream is still unfulfilled. But, it should not be too far away,” she said. “We are thankful to Mahesh for all his support,” she reminded.

“We were always confident that she will be back to where she belongs to despite the break. During that time, we let her enjoy normal life like meeting friends, spending time with family members and enjoying movies. We tried more to keep her cheerful right through,” Naseema said. Sania told Naseema on Sunday that she missed the latter and her sister Anam at Melbourne. But, when the star achiever arrives in the city on Monday, the proud mother has a string of surprises in store for the tennis celebrity.

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