Sania Mirza is the only poster girl of tennis India has ever produced. Imagine then the enthusiasm and air of expectancy she aroused among Indians when in 2005 she gave Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova a stiff challenge.
But that was 2005. The following year her story has been quite the reverse. She's been losing games right, left and centre.
So much so that it prompted us to ask our surfers if they thought her best was over.
Well, while we were asked to simply shut up they did seem to caution her as well.
Here's how it went:
New Delhi's Akki Khan said, "Sania's best is yet to come. She has to work hard on her fitness and needs greater levels of concentration." He also wished her good luck.
Prabhjot from London was quite emphatic:
"Certainly not! Best of Sania is not over yet. She must keep her mind free from media hype, the fame, the ads and financial gains. She must focus entirely on the game, study her own and opponents weaknesses and improve. I am sure she has all the strength of mind needed to win the highest prize. Good luck Sania and never give up!"
Harpal Singh of New Delhi had a simple message for her, "I just want to say, Sania keep it up! We Indians are proud of you. God bless you!"
Writing under the initials SD (from London) this surfer said:
"Stop being so stupid and asking if her best behind her already! She's so young and in fact she's had better of things lately. She'll be fine. And even if her best was indeed behind her, we better support her because she's the only Indian in the top 100."
Irshad of Hyderabad, India too felt her could reinvent herself.
"Sania can re-emerge. It'll take time but I believe she can do it. Let's not forget that she is a very practical player and has achieved her target well. She could be aiming to be in the under-15 section and she can achieve it. Best of luck, Sania!"
Jugu from Trivandrum, India felt, "Sania needs to invest a part of her earnings in a good coach."
However Girish Nair of New Delhi felt, "she will be no.1 in the world of tennis".
Talk of being an out-an-out optimist, Girish!
Well, it wasn't as if all were in disagreement. Some did feel her time was up.
"India, in principle, lacks the ability to produce stars and has been depending on players with no talent (as per world standard). Sania like players come and go unnoticed. But because she is an Indian we try to make some kind of phenomenon out of her," thought Anurag from Russia.
Sam from New York, USA too felt much of Sania mania was just that - a lot of hype.
"She says her favourite surface is fast one. What did she do in Wimbledon? And what is she doing in USA where all the surfaces are hard courts? I guess now the only surface left for her to play is water. I've seen her play real time. She doesn't have the stamina or energy to play long games. Sad but true!"
Either ways Sania Mirza seems to have a long way ahead.
All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfers and do not necessarily represent those of HindustanTimes.com.