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Hard to please a billion people: Sania

Indian tennis ace says she has gradually learnt not to get rattled by off-court furores.

sports Updated: Jan 20, 2008 17:23 IST

Fighting one controversy after another ever since her rise to prominence has taken a toll on Sania Mirza's morale and even forced her to consider quitting the game but the Indian tennis ace says she has gradually learnt not to get rattled by off-court furores.

"Yeah, it is painful... You know you can never get used to things like that. Of course, it does hurt you, because you are playing for your country," Sania said reflecting on the controversies ranging from her on-court attire to a recent court case relating to allegedly disrespecting the Indian national flag during the Hopman Cup.

The 21-year-old said she has understood that she would never be able to please everyone in her more than a billion strong nation.

"1.2 billion, I mean, there are going to be a couple of people that don't like you. That's very hard, but it's very hard for everyone to like you as well," she said.

"But I don't take it personally, to be honest. They obviously have good enough reasons for whatever they're doing," she quipped.

Sania, who crashed out in the third round of the ongoing Australian Open after a straight set loss to former Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, said despite the controversies she remains focussed on her game.

"If I wasn't, then I wouldn't be playing these tournaments, I wouldn't be feeling the way I feel about my country, and I would not be living in India right now with all this," Sania said.

"I would have moved out a long time ago, but I'm proud to live in India and whatever I am I am because I have grown up in India," she added.

But the Hyderabadi ace admits that her young age makes it difficult for her to understand what the fuss is all about whenever fatwas are issued against her for wearing "revealing" on-court attire or any other petty issue.

The recent court case about allegedly disrespecting the national flag has only added to her misery but she vows to fight through.

"You know, it will come and go. A lot of things have come and gone, and this will come and go as well," she said.

"Yes, I'm fighting (court) cases, but I guess it's fine. I mean, it's just life. At the end of the day, yeah, I am 21, and it is very hard for me to deal with stuff like that sometimes and I feel very down."

Sania said playing good tennis was one of the ways of coping with the hard off-court life that she has been leading.

"After having all that at the back of my head I'm just playing good matches and I'm still trying my best and still doing the right things," she said.

And I think that's the most important thing in my life right now is tennis," she added.