If there is anyone who knows what happened on January 1 apart from Sania Mirza, it is her teammate and doubles partner Rohan Bopanna. It was on this day that Sania had sat down to watch Bopanna play his Hopman Cup match against Australia in Perth. What followed a day later was yet another controversy for Sania.
On Tuesday, Bopanna told the Hindustan Times that the flag controversy was baseless.
"Sania was watching my match when she was photographed with her feet up on the chair," Bopanna said. “The Indian flag was placed at a distance from her,” he said.
"The flag was put up by the organisers to segregate the Indian camp from the Australian camp. The Australians had their national flag on their side.
"Whatever has happened is baseless and false. We were playing for our country. It's sad that people have drawn such wrong conclusions."
India's No. 1 player also defended Sania's decision to not to play at the Bangalore Open.
"The past month has been tough for her. When she told me in Australia that something like this has happened, I could see how disturbed she was," said Bopanna.
"It is a good decision. It's just for one tournament and we need to respect it," said Bopanna.
Were there any commercial reasons behind Sania's decision? Bopanna said: "I don't think so. I'm sure Sania and Mahesh (Bhupathi) have made the right call. Mahesh has played a lot of tennis and he knows what a player goes through."