February 02, 2005

Sania Mirza.....

Most of you must have heard about the tremendous success that Sania Mirza had at the recently concluded Australian Open. She was indeed a surprise element...atleast for me...I have been following tennis on TV and through news for about 16-17 years...I think the first tennis match I saw was when Boris Becker won his second Wimbledon title in 1986. I have seen a lot of players from India try their luck at the international level...I say luck becoz not many (may be 5-6) have succeded at that level though they had a lot of promise at the Satellite Tennis (a notch below Pros...more like Div II).

I stayed up (though for some other reason too..) till abt 2:40 am to watch Sania play against Serena...Sindhu wanted to watch the game too but she is not a late night person so I recorded most of the match on the DVR...making complete use of the DVR these days!!!!. I didnt give sania even a 1% chance against serena and I thought that the game would be a blow out and that Sania will be severely thrashed....but she proved me wrong...it was my first time watching her and she was brilliant...I mean she wasnt as good as her illustrous oppponent but she held her own after the initial nervous phase.

The commentator was mentioning all the great Indian players that have played and succeded at thet international level....Amritrajs, Ramesh Krishnan and his dad, Paes and Bhupathi etc...they even had one reporter from Hindu join them in the COmmentary box and they asked him a lot of questions abt the state of the sport and women involvement in India...he gave pretty good answers saying that it was a big boost that Sania was doing well as it will prompt other young girls to take up the sport and give them confidence that they can match their international rivals who are far superior in physique, technique and exposure. It is indeed a good thing that has happned to Tennis in India as the success came from a girl !!!! Nobody expected her to even make it past the first round and she exceeded all expectations by making it to the third and finally losing to eventual champion but not without making her sweat....most of the people have just seen the score line...6-1,6-4 that is very very misleading as it wasnt a blow out. Serera won 61 points and Sania 43 so it wasnt that bad....

Sania matched Serena stroke for stroke in the second set after she got crushed in the first...many must have turned their TV sets off expectin the match to finish in 15 more minutes ... and some would have expected her to crumble under pressure but she dug deep into her reserves and came out fighting and gave Serena a kind of glimpse of what could turn out to be a successful tennis career. Her forehand was superb and her serves were pretty good too...the only area where she needs a lot of work to be done is the return of serve as she was barely able to get to Serena's serves...she had a golden oppurtunity to go up a break with 0-40 in the second set but Serena came up with big serves and young Sania was a mere spectator sometimes...

The first time I had heard about a girl called "Sania Mirza" was way back in 2003 when she won the girls doubles at the Wimbledon. I was hoping that her career would take off as Leander's had after winning the junior wimbledon....but I didnt hear a lot abt Sania since...just that she was making steady progress up the ranking inthe womens section...but I guess from now on I will hear more abt this youngster from Hyderabad....

1 comment:

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