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Tennis is very important but not everything in my life: Sania Mirza Sport-recorder




Tennis is and will continue to be an important aspect of Sania Mirza’s life, but the legendary player says that not treating the sport as the beginning and end gave her the freedom to unleash her aggressive game every time she stepped on the court. Sania, who is saying goodbye to the game, says that she was never afraid of losing in her heart because she makes a player defensive.

The 36-year-old scored victories against some of the best players of her era: then-US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, Swiss legend Martina Hingis, Nadia Petrova and Flavia Penneta.

Although she lost her singles matches to the legends of the game, Serena Williams and Venus Williams, she put up a decent fight when she faced the American sisters.

“What made me so aggressive and that mentality was that I wasn’t actually afraid of losing,” Sania told PTI in an interview.

“For me, tennis has always been and always will be a very, very big and important part of my life, but it’s not my whole life. And that’s the mindset I went with, even as a child and as a professional athlete, I The worst that can happen is to lose a tennis match and then come back and try again.

“So the fear of losing wasn’t there. And I think a lot of people get defensive because they’re afraid of losing. They’re like ‘oh, if we push the ball or put the ball in the court, maybe we won’t.” . lose’. But, in the long run, that doesn’t work to become an elite athlete.”

It’s just losing a tennis match.

As an athlete you work to get as many wins as possible and such a risky style would not allow you to do that.

As you were always prepared to lose matches, did the losses affect Sania? “No, they affected me. But she knew that she could try again next week. They affected me at the time, some defeats more than others. But I always knew that this was not the end of the world. match.”

the gift of the right

The Indian launched forehands from angles that seemed impossible, a style of play that brought much success in her nearly two-decade career in which she won three Grand Slam women’s doubles trophies and as many mixed doubles titles.

So, did it come naturally or did you have to work to develop that shot? “I think it was a little bit of both. I think I was gifted with the momentum. I was gifted with the way I hit the ball. But I think there was a lot of work on my grip. There was a lot of effort that went into bringing variation to the shot.

“That was just one replay, there was a lot of work to make the shot tricky, where people couldn’t read it. I think it was a mix of both. Replays, I think that’s what I can tell you and working different angles of the court .

I don’t know if the change in grip resulted in an injury.

Sania started with a western grip but, on the advice of the trainers, modified it to a semi-western grip. It was the ‘Indian’ doll that allowed her to create those difficult angles. But was it also one of the reasons she suffered a career-threatening wrist injury that later forced her out of bachelorhood? “I don’t really know. I mean I have a very hypermobile joint structure. So, I don’t know if the injury would have happened with the western grip as well, if it hadn’t happened with the continental grip.

“I can’t really go into a what-if situation. I mean, I had a wrist injury and that was it. So, you had to deal with it.” But there is also an opinion that he chose the easy path by ceasing to be single.

“I don’t react to that, I don’t really care what people say.”

I don’t care what people think of the doubles format.

Many consider the doubles format to be a sideshow to singles, testing all aspects of your game: fitness, movement, groundstrokes, stamina and mental toughness.

In fast-paced doubles, reflexes and reactions become much more important than just covering half the court.

Sania said her singles success is overshadowed by her doubles exploits.

“I got a lot of respect (because of the doubles). I’m very thankful for that. I had a great career in singles.

“I wasn’t number one, but I was in the top 30, which hasn’t happened in our side of the world for a long time. It never happened for women and even for men, the last person was Vijay (Amritraj) or Ramesh ( Krishnan), it was a long haul, we had someone playing top 30 singles players and I was very successful.

“Then I moved to doubles because my body couldn’t take it after three surgeries and it was the right decision. To be number one in the world at whatever you do is amazing.”

“It doesn’t really matter what people say. (Success) is seen a lot more in doubles because I was number one in doubles. In the fraternity there’s a lot of respect for each other.”

The most vulnerable, the weakest and the strongest

You are combative by nature but there will be times, as in the life of any athlete, when you feel vulnerable. When did Sania feel the strongest? “The weakest I felt was when I had a very bad wrist injury during the 2008 Olympics. I would say that was probably the time when I went through a lot of mental health issues, when I had depression.

“To be at the top of my career not knowing if I could play again or if I could do my hair. I would say that I had where I felt very weak.

“And where I felt strongest, I would say there were many moments where I felt very strong, but probably the most invincible was mid-2014-late to mid-2016. Those almost two years of my playing life were incredible. .

“There aren’t many athletes who go out on the court and feel like they’re not going to lose a tennis match, or any match.

“You feel like you’re stepping on the court and you’ve won almost half the game just by stepping on the court. That was the feeling I had when Martina (Hingis) and I were on the court during that period of time. times.” They won Wimbledon (2015), US Open (2015) and Australian Open (2016) in an incredible run.

lost olympic medal

Sania has medals from many major multi-sport events like the CWG and the Asian Games, but she missed out on an Olympic medal. She came closest in 2016, when she and Rohan Bopanna competed in the bronze tiebreaker, but lost to the Czech pairing of Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradceka.

“I am very happy with what I have achieved. Representing India in four Olympic Games has been incredible. If I could remember a moment, it would be that bronze medal match, or the match before, when we played the semi-finals.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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