Sania preparing in right earnest for Australian Open | india | Hindustan Times
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Sania preparing in right earnest for Australian Open

india Updated: Dec 20, 2006 10:51 IST
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After her exploits at the Doha Asian Games, tennis icon Sania Mirza is training her sight on the Australian Open - the very Grand Slam which had first fetched her international recognition and fame.

The 20-year-old, who has many firsts to her credit, says she is preparing in right earnest for the season's first Grand Slam and would feature in a couple of lead-up tournaments, including the Hopman Cup in Australia beginning later this month.

Though the year as such did not turn out to be too encouraging for the Hyderabadi, it ended on an eventful note as she qualified for the Hopman Cup by winning the Asian event in her home town and picked a mixed doubles gold and two silver medals at the Doha Asian Games.

Sania's disappointment at missing out on the gold was not lost as she looked back at her Asian Games campaign.

"It could have been good had I won gold, but I have won the silver and am happy with the performance," she said.

"My fitness levels have increased of late and it made a lot of difference," she said, giving credit to her new South African coach Mathew Heath.

The tennis ace is keen to ensure there is no let-up in the fitness level, undergoing strenuous work-outs.

Reflecting on the year gone by which had its share of injuries, controversies and brilliance, Sania said, "it was not a very successful year, but these things happen in life. You will have ups and downs. The rankings go up and down. What I am interested in is playing tennis and I will be doing exactly that."