Sania will be looking to the 2nd round: Mother
Sania would take on Maria Elena Camerin of Italy in the second round at the US Open today.Updated: Sep 01, 2005 18:34 IST
If Sania Mirza continues to play big tournaments with injuries and aches it is because she, like all other players, fears her ranking would fall drastically if she does not, says her mother.
"In tennis, the problem is that if you sit back for six months, your ranking falls down drastically. You just can't recover completely from an injury," Naseema Mirzasaid.
"As soon as you feel a little better you have to enter the court. It keeps going," said Naseema, who was here to receive the Arjuna Award on behalf of Sania, who is playing in the US Open in New York.
Naseema gave the example of world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport of the US.
"Davenport was injured two weeks back, she didn't recover fully but did enter New Haven to play the tournament. So, everyone is like that, especially in tennis," she said.
"All the players are so injury prone that they just wait for three months or six months or eight months. They don't want to drop their rankings, which are important," she stressed.
Is the decision to come back, or when to come back, after an injury a difficult one?
"We have to see first her benefit and her fitness. If she would have played the Fed Cup this year, I am sure she would not have played the other tournaments," said the Hyderabad-based Naseema.
Sania, currently enjoying a career-best world rank of 42nd, missed the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania Group I competition in New Delhi in April due to an ankle injury.
That, however, did not mean that injuries would be ignored, and rest at the right time would help her recover and eventually play many more tournaments, said the doting mother.
"And if she misses the Fed Cup this year, she has got many more years to go for the Fed Cup, Insha Allah (God willing)," she said.
"She would play many more matches for her country. And whatever she is playing outside India (team) also she is playing under the India banner. So, she is playing for India, she is not playing for herself. She is a very patriotic girl," stressed Naseema.
On the ongoing US Open, Naseema said that Sania was taking one match at a time.
"She is thrilled to play US Open. She is looking forward to one match at a time and one win at a time," she said. "She won't target, for instance, a title or something. She will be very happy to win the first round and then she will be looking to the second round."
Sania has already crossed the first hurdle and was to play Maria Elena Camerin of Italy in the second round at the US Open.
Sania's father, Imran, and Naseema take turns to be with her for tournaments while the other remains at their Hydebarad home with their younger daughter, Anam.
It is a difficult situation for the parents, but Naseema is not complaining.
"Alhamdu-lillah (all praises for Allah), I am happy, whatever...," she said with a smile.
On Sania's travelling coach John Farrington of the Bahamas, Naseema said that he would continue to guide her until the end of the season.
"We will reassess him after October, when we are done with this year's tournaments," she said.
Sania came together with Farrington with the Cincinnati tournament in July.
--Indo-Asian News Service
First Published: Aug 31, 2005 16:11 IST