Tennis

I feel there is still some tennis left in me: Sania

Hyderabad: Tennis star Sania Mirza, mother to three-month old Izhaan Mirza Malik, feels there is still some tennis left in her career. But the exact date of return to competitive tennis would be known after her three or four weeks of intensive training which will commence in Dubai shortly.

“I still feel there is some tennis left in me. That is why there is a plan to make a comeback. But I have to see how my body reacts. But whatever happens from here on, it is all a bonus in my life,’’ said the six-time Grand Slam doubles winner.’’

The 32-year-old said she has been training for four hours a day now. “I’m still not lifting heavy weights. I do a lot of cardio exercises and I do kick boxing. My muscles are getting back to normal. My trainer is coming next week to Dubai. We will train for six weeks and within two or three weeks, I will take a call when to resume my playing tennis and actually see how my body reacts.’’

When the topic on cricket and the new emerging face of Indian sport, Sania said she liked the aggression of Virat Kohli. “Virat is obviously a very aggressive captain and I am huge fan of Virat. But I think Sourav Ganguly was a very aggressive captain as well which is where he got India where it was. So was Dhoni although he didn’t have persona to be aggressive. Everyone has a different way of showing in their game.

“I think in new age India there is some aggressive trait. Perhaps, the change was evolving since the last 20 years. “We have become a lot more outgoing and outspoken folks. I think it shows. In sports, you need character to win and all the champions you take, whether they speak or perform, they are great role models.’’

She did agree that there are opportunities in India other than cricket now. “We are not here to say that Virat makes this much… when I started, I was obviously the first women’s sports person to do an endorsement. But things have changed. We have got superstars outside cricket. I love cricket, I will always be partial towards it. I think any other sport can compete with cricket in the country. Cricket is like a religion. If you say it is difficult for any other sport, it is stupid.

“But having said that, today I feel really proud that in the last few years, we have (PV) Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar. There are so many women whom you can name. They are the biggest stars of the country. They are all women, that obviously it makes me proud.’’

However, Sania feels the tennis could have done better in the country. ”We always see glimpses of a young girl coming to a certain point. But they come till 175 or 200 mark. Then, for whatever reason, they are not able to break through. We have a couple of girls right now on that mark around 175 to 250. Hopefully, they can make the next jump. I personally feel there should have been more players breaking into top 100 like it happened in China like Li Na did after 2004 Olympics, that for the first time China won a gold medal. I feel that we should have had a few more players after my wins in a couple of big tournaments.’’





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