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In women's tennis, it's anyone's game: Sania

Last updated on: October 2, 2010 19:08 IST

'In woman's tennis, it's anyone's game'

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She is seeded as high as No 2 in a depleted field, but Indian tennis star Sania Mirza is not ready to take a medal for granted when the sport makes its debut at the Commonwealth Games on Monday in New Delhi.

Sania says it is unfortunate that star players such as French Open finalist Samantha Stosur of Australia will miss the competition but asserts that players, who are in the draw can play exciting tennis.

"Even Stosur lost in the first round of the Wimbledon. So, any of the eight seeded players can beat anyone here. Women's tennis is such, any player can beat anyone," Sania said after a one-hour practice session under scorching heat at the R K Khanna Tennis stadium.

Stosur had lost to World No 80 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia at the Grass court Grand Slam after putting up one of her best performances on clay at the French Open.

Russian world number 65 Anastasia Rodionova is the top seed in the women's singles and next best is Sania at 131. And since there are only 28 direct entries, four top seeds have received first round byes.

"It's good to have stars in a draw such as Stosur and (Lleyton) Hewitt but what can you do. It's unfortunate Stosur is not coming," she said asking back "are you not excited to see the field?"


Image: Sania Mirza

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'It's a great feeling when the national anthem is played'

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Talking about the players in the draw, Sania said she has not played for long against the Australian top seed and had recently beaten third seed British Katie O'Brien (ranked 152nd) in Guangzhou.

Asked about her fitness ahead of the competition, she said, "Little things are always there. But I am hoping, I will be up there by Monday. I won't mind taking painkillers to play if the need arises."

Initially, it was said that Sania will not compete in the women's doubles but now she has been paired with Rushmi Chakravarthy as India made two entries.

The other pair is of Poojashree Venkatesh and Nirupama Sanjeev, who was originally supposed to compete only in mixed doubles along with Rohan Bopanna.

It means that Sania will compete in three events in the same tournament which could be very taxing but the Indian says she is ready for the grind.

"I want to give it a shot. After getting into the mood of the Games, I felt inspired to try and give India another shot at a medal," she said.

Sania said representing the country in any event is a matter of great pride for her.

"It's great when the national anthem is played whether it's the Fed Cup, Asian Games or Commonwealth Games. You want to do the best and try as hard as possible."


Image: Sania Mirza

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I enjoyed 'Dal-Chawal' served in Games Village

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Sania hoped fans would flock to see the Indian stars, who are in terrific form and doing well.

"Did anyone expect Rohan Bopanna to lose that first

singles 10-18 in the final set (of Davis Cup against Brazil). And then he won the fifth match. So anything can happen in tennis.

"People are following Indian players and media is also interested giving good coverage. So everyone I think is happy with tennis making a debut at the Games.

Sania said she moved into the Games Village a couple of days back and found it ok.

"We are not there for much time. Most of the time we have to be outside so, all that we need is basic facilities which are there. The food was good. I enjoyed Dal-Chawal.


Image: Sania Mirza

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Sania to skip Opening Ceremony

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Meanwhile, the Indian contingent will be without Sania at Sunday's Opening Ceremony of the Games as it was decided on Saturday that the tennis star should be given some rest before her mixed doubles match on Monday.

Sania and Leander Paes are seeded second in the mixed doubles event and will open their campaign against Nykita Stacey Roheman and Alberton Richlieu of St Lucia.

"It's a collective decision. She is competing in three events and it was discussed among the players, coaches and doctors and decided that she should be given rest.

"It will be a taxing week for her, so better she takes suitable rest," Jaideep Mukherjea, chairman of India's tennis preparations programme for CWG, said.

The decision is being intimated to Indian chef-de-mission, Mukherjea said.


Image: Sania Mirza

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