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Sania unlikely to reconsider pull-out decision

Tennis star Sania Mirza indicated on Tuesday night that she was unlikely to reconsider her bombshell decision not to participate in the Bangalore Open, but said she would do duty for India whenever selected.

sports Updated: Feb 05, 2008 21:03 IST
MR Mishra

Tennis star Sania Mirza indicated on Tuesday night that she was unlikely to reconsider her bombshell decision not to participate in the Bangalore Open, but said she would do duty for India whenever selected.

In an e-mail interview to PTI, Sania was also critical of a section of the media for lacking restraint and blowing up petty issues related to her.

The 21-year-old tennis ace, Asia's number one and ranked 29th in the world, said she opted not to play the Bangalore Open, as she was not in the right frame of mind to do justice to herself or her abilities.

Asked whether she would reconsider the decision following a wave of disappointment across the country, she said, "First and foremost, it would be wrong to say that I have pulled out of the Bangalore Open because in the first place, I did not even enter the draw."

"This is the first time in my career, when I have not entered an international tournament being played in India for genuine personal reasons. I do not think I'm in the right frame of mind right now to do justice to my abilities or myself. If I was to play in this state, I believe I will be letting my fans down," she said.

Sania had cited the controversies dogging her career as the main reason for pulling out of the Bangalore Open and insisted that no sportsperson in India had undergone such turbulence in the last two months.

"I don't think that all sportspersons have faced the kind of situation that I have, particularly in the last two months. Why nobody made an issue when two of our greatest tennis players, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, chose to skip the ATP event in Chennai?" she said.

On whether her decision to pull out of the Bangalore Open would deprive genuine tennis fans of watching her play, Sania said, "The millions of genuine fans all over the country follow me through television, irrespective of whether I'm playing in India or anywhere else in the world.

"Not more than 6000 to 7000 spectators can get to enter the stadium to watch the match live and it is unfortunate that they will miss out on this opportunity," she said.

Sania also criticised section of the media for blowing up issues relating to her. "We also probably need to take a look at the lack of restraint with which certain sections of our media tend to highlight petty issues relating to me, which are bound to encourage mischievous elements because of the massive publicity that they generate.

"If two people out of a billion file a case on me, the whole world hears about it and it is wrongly projected to be a mass reaction against me," she said.

Asked whether the decision not to play in India was valid for the Bangalore Open only, she said, "I will take it as it comes and decide accordingly. But I have reiterated several times that I will always be available to do duty for my country whenever and wherever I'm selected to represent India."