Famous Indian tennis Star Sania Mirza has come in Bangladesh to meet with her husband Shoib Malik. She has landed in Dhaka today. Her husband is now playing for Mohammedan Sporting Club in Dhaka Premier League. Sania Mirza is a very popular figure in Bangladeshi sports lovers too. She is the first and only Indian woman to make it to the fourth round of any Grand Slam event and to get into the top 30 in the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) rankings – 27 in singles and 18 in doubles. She came to Dhaka on Monday to meet her husband Shoaib Malik, who is currently playing for Mohammedan Sporting Club in the Dhaka Premier League. At the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport she gave some time to New Age’sReporter and shared her views on different aspects of tennis.
Q: How are you? How does it feel coming here after a long time?
A: Thank you. I think it’s the third time I am here. It was really a very long time ago and I just remember the tennis courts at Ramna more than anything else because that’s where we spent most of our times. It was always nice I mean it’s so close to my home you know. It looks a little different – the airport and everything – since my last visit to Dhaka 12 years ago.
Q: So you are here to give company to your husband Shoaib Malik?
A: Obviously this time it’s different coming here. It is more for holidaying than anything else, or doing anything else. I don’t have that much time because I will have to leave in four days’ time so that I can play in the Fed Cup in Thailand.
Q: How was your journey in the professional tennis circuit?
A: I think the depth in women’s tennis today is more than it ever was. It’s almost seven years since I turn professional and since then the level of tennis has gone up a few notches. It is getting more and more physical and that’s why it is getting more difficult for the Asians to come up as we are not physically as strong as the Europeans and the Russians, to say so.
Q: What are the chances of the Asians in the Grand Slam?
A: It’s not easy to be in the final of a women’s Grand Slam. All we can do is try and work hard. I think people don’t understand what goes through playing a Grand Slam, let alone playing the grand slam final, I think it’s a great education for every one. I think it will be too tough to make it to the top hundred in the WTA rankings now. We have to work hard which I am doing and that’s the solution.
Q: Are you happy with your performance at the Australian Open?
A: I think I played quite well but unfortunately I played Henin in the first round and it’s never easy to play against someone who has won seven Grand Slams. I really had a good match against her.
Q: So you are happy with your performance?
A: I think I am probably playing my best tennis right now because, finally, the injuries are over which is the most important thing. I was injured for six months last year and having come out of that now as I’m injury free everything else will take care of itself and fall into places.
Q: Do you follow cricket?
A: Of course, I follow a lot of Indian cricket but now I also try to follow my husband and Pakistani cricket as well.
Q: Whom are you supporting in the World Cup?
A: Obviously, India.
Q: Are you disappointed that Shoaib Malik could not make it into the Pakistan Team for the World Cup?
A: I think as a sports person it’s part and parcel. Ups and down come and go. As a player you will have to deal with it and you will have to move forward.