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Sania banking on expatriate support

sports Updated: Jun 26, 2007 02:21 IST

Tennis ace Sania Mirza is banking upon the substantial expatriate Indians’ support as she hopes to regain her lost touch in Wimbledon which, she claims, “suits my game”.

“Wimbledon suits my game. I think I get more support here when I play because there are so many Indians out there and I think during that season a lot of people are visiting England as well,” Sania told BBC.

“It’s great, it almost feels like you’re playing in India,” said the Hyderabadi, who was ousted in the second round at the French Open after losing to eventual finalist Ana Ivanovic.

“When I won my first round in Paris my phone was going off the hook,” she said. “Everyone was very excited.

“I was not playing tennis at all for two and a half months — I started playing a week before I went to Paris. It’s very hard, especially after you have surgery.

“If you just have an injury and you come back I think it’s a bit easier but I literally had to start from scratch. My left leg had so much more power than my right leg.

“I probably thought I would take longer to start hitting the ball as well as I was when I stopped playing. It’s been a hard process.

“We’ve worked very hard in the gym — the rehab started two days after the surgery with little exercises. It’s been very, very hard,” said the World No. 46, whose short career has been marred by injuries.

Regarding all the media attention she gets in India Sania said: “I try not to read papers as much as possible and I try not to watch too many news channels when the sports news is going on.

“Every athlete in India has the pressure of the whole country on them when they play, more so the cricketers than me, but that’s something that we try and block out as much as possible.”