Sania Mirza is unrattled by the criticism that has followed her recent drop in rankings on WTA charts and says she has learnt to take failures in her stride.
Wiser perhaps on turning 20 - which she did on November 15, 2006 - Sania said it was difficult to live up to the expectations of a billion of people.
"The pressure of expectations is part of every sportsperson's life. I have become conditioned to it now and anyway you cannot live up to the expectations of everyone," said the tennis star who finished the year ranked 66th after starting it on an enviable 31st.
The Hyderabadi lass said she found it amazing how the cricketers handled the pressure that comes from playing the country's favourite sport.
"In terms of popularity tennis has only caught up lately. Indians have been crazy about cricket since ages. I really admire the cricketers for their ability to handle with ease all the pressure," she said at a promotional event in Delhi last night.
The pressure and the mind games involved in sports has drawn her into psychology and she wants to pursue the subject seriously once she gives up tennis.
"If I had not been a tennis player, I would have been a psychologist. In fact I am pursuing psychology right now and once I give up tennis, I will think of a career in psychology", she said.
"Sportspersons have to deal with psychology so often. That is why I find the subject all the more interesting," said the player, who is the first Indian to break into top-50 in women's rankings.
The only Indian to win a WTA title, Sania is currently preparing for Hopman Cup mixed tennis event to he held in Hyderabad from November 23 to 26.
Having scaled such heights in her teens has meant Sania has not enjoyed her life as any other teenager. But she does not regret missing out on that.
"You have to sacrifice something in life to achieve something. If I had not been a tennis player, I would not have been so popular."
Sania also revealed that it was her dream to meet the legendary Steffi Graf.
"When I started playing she had already retired. She often comes to the courts with (husband) Andre Agassi but I have not had the courage to go up to her and ask for her autograph. But I am hopeful one day my dream will come true."