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Sania unfazed by steep slide in rankings

The Indian tennis star says she does not feel threatened by the fact that her game has been "figured out" by her opponents .

india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 15:37 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

India's top woman tennis player Sania Mirza did not sound too concerned about the sudden steep decline in her world rankings and felt optimistic about her future in the game at the international level.

Stating she had a phenomenal first year on the WTA circuit, when her rankings rose up to as high as 33 in 2005, the Hyderabad-based Saniasaid this feat was not possible to be repeated year after year.

"It's not humanly possibly to repeat it year after year. I am optimistic (about her future)", the 70th-ranked Sania said at a promotional event for next week's Sunfeast Open in Kolkata, organised by the WTA tournament's promoters Globosport.

Sania, whose short career has been beset by a spate of injuries, also did not feel threatened by the fact that her game has been "figured out", and brushed it aside as a minor problem to be overcome.

"That's not a major problem, but only a minor one. It happens to all the players. Even I try to figure out the other players' game when I watch them on TV", she said.

Asked about the All India Tennis Association's decision to pit her with seasoned Davis Cup campaigner Leander Paes for the mixed doubles event in the December Asian Games in Doha, Sania said it was the selection committee's decision and she would be happy to play with Paes or Mahesh Bhupathi or anyone else.

"It's not my choice. It's the committee's decision. I would have been happy to play with Leander or Bhupathi or anyone else," she said.

Sania will play in the individual events as well as team events in the Qatar Games. She's to partner Shikha Uberoi in women's doubles and Paes in the mixed event.

Sania said her decision to change her travelling coach quite often (S Narendranath, a former national champion, is her current coach) was because of the comfort factor.

"I have to spend around 18 hours a day with a travelling coach, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. I look out for someone I am comfortable with," she said.

Sania said she was now looking forward to playing in the Kolkata WTA event and said the tournament would help the Indian fans know what goes into making a top player like Swiss Grand Slam champion Martina Hinges who has entered the event.

"It's through events like the Sunfeast Open that people in India would come to know what goes into the making of a top player like Martina Hingis.

"I am am very excited to play in the tournament," she added.

First Published: Sep 14, 2006 15:37 IST