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Sania needs to focus on fitness, says coach

"She has the potential to reach top 10 and clinch a Grand Slam," he said.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2005 09:30 IST

A physiotherapist can help Sania Mirza prevent and manage her injuries and handle the rigours of tennis at the top level, says her coach Ganesh Raman.
Satisfied with the Indian tennis sensation's performance against top seed Maria Sharapova in the fourth round match at the US Open, Raman is of the view that Sania needs a physio not only to manage her injuries, but also to prevent any ones.

Sania, who ranked 42 before the US Open, lost 2-6, 1-6 to top seed Sharapova in the Grand Slam event on Monday.

He said Sania did not look nervous even while playing Sharapova. "She looked like a player who is used to big match situations. Confidence is creeping into her mind."

According to Raman, while hiring John Farrington as travelling coach in the US had helped Sania, there was need to add another person-physio. "Unlike other big players who are accompanied by a team of six to seven people, Sania has been travelling only with her mother or father."

Ganesh, who manages her training sessions, said Sania would have to focus on physical fitness, improving her serves and adding volleys to her game to reach and remain at the top.

According to him, serves made the difference between the winning and losing - and Sania's were not strong enough against the Russian. "She was lacking rhythm and I am told she was not able to serve fully because of stomach strain."

Raman, however, termed her overall performance as excellent. "She has the potential to reach top 10 and clinch a Grand Slam," he said.

Ganesh said the rigours of tennis at the top level demand physical and mental fitness. "At that level, winning three or four matches is easy but winning seven matches in two weeks is a big task. You have to be physically fit for two weeks, which is more difficult than mental fitness."

First Published: Sep 06, 2005 09:30 IST