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Sania keeps her cool amid chaos

If there is a Sania Mirza press conference in the Capital chaos cannot be far behind.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 02:15 IST
S Kannan

If there is a Sania Mirza press conference in the Capital chaos cannot be far behind. Wednesday was no different as Lotto, who had called the media over, gave the cameramen and TV crews a great opportunity to shoot the tennis star. The officials on the dais spoke about Sania, her achievements, the new products et al. But when the time came for a question-and-answer session with Sania, Lotto didn't want one.

After a near walkout, Sania did come, and it was clear all questions would relate only to tennis. There's a price one pays for being a celebrity and in Sania's case, when she had to talk about her first serve getting better and there being more consistency in it, suddenly came the question: "Sania, what is your fashion statement?"

Well, she answered that too with aplomb before moving on to the topic of new coach Asif Ismail and her results in the doubles. Suddenly, another question was fired: "Isn't doubles spoiling your singles play?"

Sania kept a straight face and tried to explain to the young lady -- obviously ignorant of the sport -- that it was not so. Patriotism, injuries, progress on the Tour, almost everything was answered in those 10 minutes. "I wanted to play in the Fed Cup and I think our results were good. Losing to Australia was hard, but I am sure we can do better next time," she said. The Hyderabad girl was also effusive in her praise for Shikha Uberoi.

Talking about ranking - both singles and doubles -- Sania did convey to the media and fans that being ranked 40 was good. "I would be happy if I can stay within top-50 by year end. Of course, I am looking forward to doing well in the Grand Slams," she said.

On Wednesday, Sania was wearing Lotto shoes, though she wears Adidas on court. Last year she had got customised shoes from Lotto but they didn't suit her a bit. Word has it that she developed knee pain after wearing them at the Australian Open and now is back to wearing Adidas.

On how she would mix her professional commitments with playing for the country, Sania replied: "I love playing for India and that's why I went for the Fed Cup". Does that mean she would be ready to fire at the Asian Games, having won a bronze with Leander Paes as partner in the 2002 Busan Games? "I am excited about the Asian Games, we can win a lot of medals..."

She also made it clear there was no guarantee when she would be next playing her pro tournament. Even if that means going to Roland Garros without practice! For now, it's going to be rest for Sania, a decision she made on the advice of doctors in Hyderabad and not because the crowd of coaches, so-called fitness experts and physios have been telling her to do so!