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'Media hype overs Sania affecting other players'

"I think the media should treat every player equally", says Shikha Uberoi, India's number two women's tennis star.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2006 12:15 IST

Too much media hype over Indian ace Sania Mirza is making things difficult for other women players of the country, says Shikha Uberoi.

"I think the media should treat every player equally. They should highlight the achievements and talents of every deserving player," says Shikha, India's number two women's tennis star.

The 23-year-old has no reservation in acknowledging Sania's greatness and her contribution to Indian tennis.

"She has done well. So, it is natural that she will get more attention. But it's definitely very difficult when the young talents see that you (the media) are only focussing on Sania, and their talents are not being recognished," Shikha told.

The world number 193, however, felt that it was for the media to put things in perspective. "I, or the other players, can't do anything about it," said the US-based player.

Born in Mumbai, Shikha started playing tennis when she was only six. But she began seriously pursuing the game four years later.

Shikha, who reached a career high singles ranking of 122 last year, admitted that her performance had not been upto the mark so far in 2006.

"The results are not upto my expectation," she said.

Now in the city to play the USD 175,000 WTA Sunfeast Open, Shikha's singles campaign ended in the first round itself when she went down to Czech girl Hana Sromova in straight sets.

In contrast, Shikha had reached the quarter final in the maiden edition of the tournament last year, before losing out to eventual champions Anastasia Myskina.

But she is still with a chance to prove herself in the doubles, where she is partnering Hungarian Melinda Czink into the second round.

But Shikha says she is missing her younger sister Neha. The Uberoi sisters had caused a few surprises to enter the final of the Sunfeast Open last year. They finished runners up to the crack combination of Anastasia Myskina and Elena Likhovtseva.

"I feel very sad for her. We had such a good time here last year. We went around the city together. And then the performance in the doubles," she says.

Shikha admires Swiss great Roger Federer. "If God played tennis, he'd play like Roger Federer".

Among the women players, she idolises Steffi Graff.

Shikha says she is now working on all aspects of her game. "I am trying to put together a gameplan, and I am analysing it over and over again".

From here, Shikha will fly first to Tokyo and then to Europe to take part in various meets.

The religious minded player is optimistic about the future of women's tennis in India.

"While the guys are playing cricket, the girls are taking to tennis in a big way. And the Indian girls are doing far better than boys in the discipline," she added.

First Published: Sep 20, 2006 12:15 IST