"Sania Mirza wanted $25,000 (Rs 11.51 lakh) as appearance fee to play a charity tennis match for the Lahore flood victims earlier this year," an irate Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) vice-president, Irshad Bhatti, told Hindustan Times on Monday.
"Sania had earlier agreed to play the charity match against Kveta Peshke, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi's mixed doubles partner, in Lahore. But a week before the match, Sania informed us that she wasn't keen on coming to Pakistan but was willing to play the same match in Dubai. When we arranged a court in Dubai, Sania told us that she wanted $25000 as appearance fee to play the charity tie," Bhatti said.
Even her cricketer husband, Shoaib Malik, didn't help out the PTF when they contacted him.
"We will never again ask Sania for help," Bhatti said.
If the PTF had expected Sania to get swayed by sentiments, they should have kept the 2009 Bangalore Open in mind. She had backed out of a tournament on home soil because her appearance fee expectations were not met.
The 24-year-old, ranked 63rd on the WTA charts, tweeted: "Apparently there is some news reporting (sic) that the Pakistan tennis federation offered me to play a charity match and I asked for 25000 dollars. To set the record straight I have not been contacted by anyone from the PTF regarding this! I hope it's clear to one and all."
The charity event was to be organised by the Mir Khalilur Rehman Foundation, "which then proceeded to raise money through other avenues", said Bhatti.