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It?s unbelievable: Sania

Sania Mirza on Sunday became the first Indian girl to clinch a junior Grand Slam title. She won the girls' doubles title pairing with Russia's Alisa Kleybanova.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2003 00:35 IST
S. Kannan

Sania Mirza on Sunday became the first Indian girl to clinch a junior Grand Slam title. She won the girls' doubles title pairing with Russia's Alisa Kleybanova.

Sania chose to partner this 13-year-old girl because she thought they could go the distance here. The duo beat Katerina Bohmova and Micheala Krajicek 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the final.

As Sania and her partner won the last point, the Indian threw her racquet in delight. "Gosh, it was just unbelievable to be winning at Wimbledon," said Sania. "This is certainly the biggest day of my life and I hope I can keep it going," added the Hyderabad girl who will turn 17 in November.

Having won a bronze medal with Leander Paes as partner at the Busan Asian Games last September, Sania has seen big moments. But the real challenge for her, as she insists, is singles. "That's my dream, to win the singles as well one day," said Sania, whose cell phone has been ringing non-stop.

It costs a lot to be having a roaming Indian number but this was one day when even her dad Imran would not have minded running up huge bills! Mother Nasima has been with her daughter all these five weeks on the European tour, with the best coming on Sunday.

"I couldn't have asked for more," said Nasima, who was all smiles as Indians present here greeted her on the famous lawns of London's SW 19 suburb.

Having made the French Open girls' semi-finals with Sanaa Bhambri, there was a lot of expectation from Sania. For those who have been following Sania's exploits in the Fed Cup and ITF events, the real hope was in singles. But once she did well in Paris at the French Open, Sania was keen she continued to improve on it.

This time she chose not to play with Sanaa. "We tried to play on grass a week before Wimbledon. It did not work and so Sanaa and I decided to pair with different partners," said Sania. What's she going to do now? "We are going to party tonight," said Sania, who remembered to thank all her well wishers and her travelling coach T.Chandrashekhar.

LEANDER IN FINAL: Meanwhile, Leander Paes and Martina Navratilova entered the mixed doubles final, getting the better of Leos Friedl (Czech Republic) and Liezel Huber (South Africa) 7-5, 6-4.

First Published: Jul 07, 2003 00:35 IST