This is a discussion on Sania Mirza within the Entertainment forums, part of the Tour and Travels category; Sania Mirza, who Monday became the second Indian woman to reach the second round of a Grand Slam, says she ...
- 08-26-2010, 12:18 PM #1Unregistered Guest
Sania Mirza, who Monday became the second Indian woman to reach the second round of a Grand Slam, says she didn't just want to triumph but also "expected to win" her first round match at the Australian Open.
Sania - who turned 18 less than two months ago and rose meteorically from lower than 450 to the Top 150 in less than six months - won against Cindy Watson of Australia 3-6,6-3,6-0.
Excerpts from an exclusive interview soon after the historic win here that made Monday a watershed day for Indian sports:
Q: What was it like today playing your first Grand Slam match?
Sania: Initially I was a little nervous. I did not just want to win, I expected to win, and as a result I may have put a little pressure on myself because there were a lot of unforced errors in the beginning.
But as the game went on, my nerves settled, the winners started flowing and everything went smoothly.
Q. When down 2-0 in the second after losing the first, what did you feel? How did you turn it around?
Sania: Nothing really. I felt I was playing well...just needed to step it up a gear and cut the errors. I was able to do that and then I won 10 games in a row and it was almost like playing a different match altogether.
Q. What has changed in your game over the last few months for you to suddenly shoot up the rankings?
Sania: I think the time I spent with Bob Brett has really helped. I had most of the shots but it's really been about shot selection. I'm now fitter, faster and more patient. I've also made some slight adjustments to my serve. All of it is paying off.
Q. Your parents have unfortunately not been able to join you this week. Did you miss having them around?
Sania: Naturally, because they always travel with me and are a source of great support. Due to personal reasons they had to travel somewhere but I do have a support system in terms of family friends and relatives.
Also, Mahesh Bhupathi, whose company Globosport manages me, is here as well. He's someone who has always been there to guide me, whether it's in terms of choosing Bob Brett or in terms of advice on matches and life on the tennis circuit.
Q. Looking ahead to your next match on Wednesday, how do you feel? What will be the key?
Sania: Well my next match is against Petra Mandula from Hungary who was ranked in the Top 30 last year, so it won't be easy.
I think court coverage will be critical since she is probably the best player of the drop shot on the tour. That and patience, which is always a strength of the more experienced players.
But I have played players in the Top 30-40 before. At the beginning of last year I played Nicole Pratt at the Hyderabad Open and Emile Loit in Morocco.
Both times I came close to winning in three sets but eventually lost while they went on to win the tournaments. So I know I have the game to beat the top players.
The way I see it, I have nothing to lose and the possibility of playing Serena Williams if I win...so I'm giving it my best shot.
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