kArThIk’S bLoG

Wants to achive – Be +ve

Sania Mirza


 

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Played the biggest match of her life 
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 Career highlights:

 

 

  • 2008 Australian Open, lost in the final of Australian Open mixed doubles with partner Mahesh Bhupati.
  • 2008 Australian Open, seeded 31st in the tournament, loses to Venus Williams in the third round 7-6(0), 6-4. Reached Finals of mixed doubles with Mahesh Bhupati.
  • 2007 U.S. Open, seeded 26th in the tournament, reaches the third round defeating US veteran Laura Granville 6-3, 7-5, before losing to Anna Chakvetadze 2-6, 3-6.
  • 2007 Pilot Pen Tennis tournament, won the doubles title partnering Italian Mara Santangelo, beating the top seeds Liezel Huber and Cara Black 6-1, 6-2.
  • 2007 East West Bank Classic, beats Martina Hingis for the second time in a row in the second round 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.
  • 2007 Acura Classic, reaches quarter-finals after defeating two Top 20 players Shahar Pe’er and Dinara Safina. However, she lost to top-seed Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-1.
  • 2007 Bank of the West Classic, reached third career final after defeating Akiko Morigami, Tatiana Golovin, Patty Schnyder and Sybille Bammer, but lost to Anna Chakvetadze 6-2 6-3. Claimed the Doubles title with partner Shahar Pe’er, beating Anna Chakvetadze and Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 7-6.
  • 2007 Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open, won the doubles title with Bethanie Mattek as the 1st seeds. In the final they defeated Alina Jidkova and Tatiana Poutchek 7-6 7-5.
  • 2007 Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open, reached the semifinals as the 3rd seed, finally losing to 1st seeded, and eventual champion, Anna Chakvetadze 2-6, 7-5, 3-6.
  • 2006 15th Asian games, Doha, Qatar: Mixed doubles – won gold medal for India partnering Leander Paes. They beat Japan’s Satoshi Iwabuchi and Akiko Morigami 7-5, 5-7, 6-2
  • 2006 15th Asian games, Doha, Qatar: Singles – won silver medal losing to China’s Jie Zheng 4-6, 6-1, 1-6
  • 2006 15th Asian games, Doha, Qatar: Team Tennis – won Silver medal for India pairing Shikha Uberoi. They lost to Chinese Taipei team.
  • 2006 Sunfeast Kolkata Open singles: reached semi-finals, losing to eventual champion, Martina Hingis 6-1 6-0
  • 2006 Sunfeast Kolkata Open]] doubles: Won the tournament partnering Liezel Huber. They beat Yulia Fedak and Yuliana Beygelzeimer 6-4 6-0
  • 2006 Bangalore Open (Hyderabad Open in the previous years) doubles: Won the tournament (partnering with Liezel Huber)
  • 2006 Won Silver medal in Qatar Asian Games 2006 Women’s singles final and Gold medal in mixed doubles (partnering with Leander Paes)
  • 2005 Japan Open: reaches the semi-finals of women’s singles and doubles (partnering Shahar Peer of Israel); reaches her highest doubles ranking of 114.
  • 2005 U.S. Open: reaches 4th round by defeating Marion Bartoli of France in straight sets (7-6(4), 6-4) before losing to top seed Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-1. Voted Best Player of the day on the 3rd day for winning her 2nd round match despite bleeding toes.
  • 2005 Forest Hills Women’s Tennis Classic, New York: reaches her second WTA final but fails to win.
  • 2005 Acura Classic: upsets Nadia Petrova in 2nd round but loses in the third round to Akiko Morigami of Japan (2-6,6-4,4-6). By beating the 8th-ranked Petrova, she breaks into top 50 in world rankings for the first time ever.
  • 2005 Dubai Tennis Championships: Upset reigning US Open Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-2 in 2nd round to reach the quarter-finals
  • 2005 Hyderabad Open singles: Won the tournament defeating Alyona Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in the final and became the first Indian woman to capture a WTA singles title.
  • 2005 Australian Open singles: 3rd round: Became first Indian woman to reach the 3rd round of a Grand Slam tournament.
  • 2004 Hyderabad Open doubles: Won the tournament (partnering with Liezel Huber) to become the youngest Indian to win a WTA or ATP tour title and the first Indian woman to capture a WTA tour title. entered the singles as wild card but lost in the first round to the eventual winner Nicole Pratt.
  • 2003 Wimbledon Championships Juniors doubles: Won the tournament (partnering with Alisa Kleybanova) to become the youngest Indian and the first Indian woman to win a junior Grand Slam title.
  • 2003 Afro-Asian Games: won four gold medals – Women’s singles, Mixed doubles (with Mahesh Bhupathi), Women’s doubles and Women’s team events (the last two golds in partnership with Rushmi Chakravarthy
  •  

     


    Sania Mirza, A Hyderabadi girl                                                                saniamirza.jpgTeen tennis sensation Sania Mirza fancied her chances against top American Serena Williams whom she runs into in the third round of the Australian Open Grand Slam on Friday. 

    “Well, she won in 48 minutes today and gave away three games… I won in 50 minutes and also gave away three games. So who knows,” Sania said after recording a historic win to become only the first Indian woman to reach the third round of a Grand Slam.

    The 18-year-old Hyderabadi walloped 84th ranked Petra Mandula of Hungary 6-2 6-1 in 50 minutes in the second round. The best ever performance by an Indian woman hitherto had been the second round appearance of Nirupama Sanjeev at the same Grand Slam in 1998.

    Sania, ranked 166, said the clash with world number seven Serena was “the biggest match of her life” and that if she enjoyed herself on the court she would learn a few things along the way.

    “It is the biggest match of my life and I think it is hard to plan too much for it. I am just going to go out there, enjoy playing on a show court,” she said in an interview.

    “I feel in matches like this, what is most important is that you focus on yourself, put in 200 per cent and play the match of your life,” Sania said. But the 18-year-old Mirza, who got a wild card entry into the Australian Open in Melbourne, lost to Williams 1-6,4-6 in the third round. Williams took just 56 minutes to defeat Mirza and sail into the fourth round.

    Playing the biggest match of her life, Mirza made little impact on Williams in the early stages of the game.

    But the teenager showed more confidence in the second set and engaged the seventh-seeded Williams in some well contested rallies. 

    Mirza, a junior Wimbledon doubles title winner, became the first Indian woman to reach the third round of a grand slam tennis event when she beat Hungarian Petra Mandula on Wednesday.

    “I’m really excited. I was confident but I didn’t think it was going to be that easy,” Mirza said after her second round win.

    “My aim was to win a round here. When I did that I was so relieved, there was no pressure.”

    Tennis is not a particularly popular sport in India, but a number of Indians watched the live telecast of the match between Mirza and Williams.

    :: PROFILE ::

    Birth Date: 15 Nov 1986
    Birth Place: Mumbai, India
    Residence: Hydrabad, India
    Nationality: INDIA
    Height: 1.68m
    Weight: 54kg
    Plays: Right Handed (Double Handed Backhand)
    Favourite Surface: Hard
    Coach: Cak Bhupathi
    Age Began Tennis: 6
    Personal Interests: Swimming, Music
    Ambition: To be in the Top 20 of the World.
    Favourite player: Steffi Graf.
    Sponsored by: G.V.K. Group of Industries, Adidas and Head.
    Represented India at the 2002 Junior Fed Cup.

    :: Rankings (ITF) ::(up to 2007)

    Current Singles Ranking: 32
    Highest Singles Ranking: 10 (21 Apr 2003)
    Current Doubles Ranking: 2
    Highest Doubles Ranking: 1 (06 Oct 2003)
    Year End Rankings
    Singles: 2002 – 31, 2001 – 29, 2000 – 131, 1999 – 453=
    Doubles: 2002 – 21, 2001 – 47, 2000 – 233, 1999 – 590=

    :: Highest Ranking ::

    2003 # 1 ITF G18 Dbles
    2003 # 10 ITF G18 Sgles
    2004 # 20 ITF G18
    2003 # 1 IND Sgles
    2003 # 1 IND Dbles
    2002 # 27 ITF Sgles
    2002 # 20 ITF Dbles
    2002 # 1 IND Sgles
    2002 # 1 IND Dbles
    2001 # 27 ITF Sgles
    2001 # 49 ITF Dbles
    2000 # 745 ETA Sgles

    :: Tournament History ::

    Aug 2003 G18 Dbles Finalist (with Anna Tchakvetadze RUS), Canadian Open, Repentigny, CAN, ITF G1
    Jun 2003 G18 Dbles Champion (with Alisa Kleybanova RUS), Wimbledon, London, GBR, ITF GA
    Jun 2003 G18 Dbles Quarterfinalist (with Sanaa Bhambri IND), Gerry Weber Open, Halle, GER, ITF G4
    Jun 2003 G18 Dbles Winner (with Sanaa Bhambri IND), 11th Frankfurt Int’l, GER, ITF G1
    Jun 2003 G18 Dbles Semifinalist (with Sanaa Bhambri IND), French Open, Roland Garros, FRA, ITF GA
    May 2003 G18 Dbles Quarterfinalist (with Beier Ko CAN), 39th Astrid Bowl, BEL, ITF G1
    Apr 2003 G18 Dbles Winner (with Sanaa Bhambri IND), Shuzo Challenge Japan Open, Nagoya, JPN, ITF G1
    Apr 2003 G18 Sgles Quarterfinalist, Shuzo Challenge Japan Open, Nagoya, JPN, ITF G1
    Apr 2003 G18 Sgles Winner, 14th Mitsubishi Lancer, Manila, PHI, ITF G1
    Apr 2003 G18 Dbles Semifinalist (with Yung-Jan Chan TPE), 14th Mitsubishi Lancer, Manila, PHI, ITF G1
    Dec 2002 Singles Winner & Doubles Finalist (with Isha Lakhani IND), Asian Closed Junior Tennis Championships, ITF GB2
    Sep 2002 16U Team India (with Ankita Bhambri & Kartiki Bhat), Junior Fed Cup
    Sep 2002 Doubles Qtrfinalist (with Isha Lakhani IND) US Open, USA, ITF Grade A
    Aug 2002 Singles Winner & Doubles Winner (with Tarryn Terblanche RSA), South/Central Africa Circuit, Botswana, ITF G3
    Jul 2002 Doubles Finalist, Smash Tennis EGY, ITG G3
    Jul 2002 Singles Winner & Doubles Winner (with Isha Lakhani IND), Pretoria University, ITF G2
    Jul 2002 Doubles Winner (with Isha Lakhani IND), PIC Pretoria, ITF G2
    May 2002 Doubles Qtrfinalist (with Micaela Moran ARG), Villach Cup Austria, ITF G2
    Apr 2002 Doubles Finalist (with Lara Giltinana AUS) & Singles Qtrfinalist, Chinese Taipei Jo Jo Int’l, ITF G3
    Apr 2002 Singles Qtrfinalist, Mitsubishi Lancer, PHI, ITF G2
    Jan 2002 Doubles Winner (with Linda Smolenakova SVK) & Singles Qtrfinalist, Victorian Champs., AUS, ITF G2
    Dec 2001 Doubles Semifinalist (with Sanaa Bhambri IND), Asian Closed, ITF G B2
    Oct 2001 Singles & Doubles Finalist, Hong Kong Open, ITF G2
    Oct 2001 Doubles Qtrfinalist (with Hanna Nooni SWE) & Singles rd of 16, Osaka Mayor’s Cup, Japan, ITF Grade A
    Aug 2001 Singles & Doubles Semifinalist (with Sasha Abraham IND) KawZulu Natal, ITF G1
    Aug 2001 Doubles Qtrfinalist (with Sasha Abraham IND), Dolphen Coast, ITF G2
    Jul 2001 Doubles Winner (with Wana Mrazovic YUG) & Singles Finalist, Smash Tennis Int’l G4
    Jul 2001 Singles & Doubles Winner (with Sasha Abraham IND), Movenpick Int’l G3
    Apr 2001 Singles Semifinalist, Mitsubishi Lancer Int’l G2
    Mar 2001 Singles Qtrfinalist, Mali Milk Cup, 21st Thailand Open G2
    Mar 2001 Singles Qtrfinalist, Malaysian Int’l G3
    Feb 2001 Singles Winner & Doubles Qtrfinalist (with Sasha Abraham IND), Bangladesh Int’l G3
    Feb 2001 Singles & Doubles Semifinalist (with Maya Rosa INA), Rajshahi Int’l G4
    Feb 2001 Singles Winner & Doubles Finalist (with May Rosa INA), India ITF Junior Circuit III – Calcutta G4
    Jan 2001 Singles & Doubles Winner (with Sasha Abraham IND), Indian ITF Junior 11 – Chandigarh G4
    Jan 2001 Doubles Winner (with Sasha Abraham IND) & Singles Qtrfinalist, Indian ITF Junior I – New Delhi G4
    Nov 2000 Doubles Semifinalist (with Leila Cehajic CAN), T-Bar Int’l, ITF G5
    Nov 2000 Doubles Semifinalist (with Sasha Abraham IND) & Singles Qtrfinalist, Malaysia Int’l 2 G4
    Oct 2000 Singles & Doubles Winner (with Zahra Omer Khan PAK), Pakistan Int’l Junior Championships G5
    Sep 2000 Singles Winner & Doubles Semifinalist (with Reddhina Parekh IND), Indian ITF – Mumbai G4
    Sep 2000 Singles & Doubles Semifinalist (with Priyanka Parekh IND), Indian ITF Junior -Chennai G5
    Aug 2000 Singles Semifinalist, Int’l Youth Tennis G4
    Feb 2000 Doubles Qtrfinalist (with Anete Rozkalne LAT), Bangladesh Int’l , ITF G3
    Jan 2000 Singles Qtrfinalist, Indian ITF I – New Delhi G4
    Jan 2000 Singles Finalist & Doubles Qtrfinalist (with Nichala Reddy Boda IND), Int’l, Sri Lanka G4
    Nov 1999 Singles Qtrfinalist, India ITF Junior Circuit III Grade 5
    Nov 1999 Doubles Winner (with Nida Waseem PAK) & Singles Finalist, Pakistan Int’l G5

    sania-mirza-174.jpg       sania_mirza_003.jpg  sania151205.jpg

                                                                  Sania Mirza is cool. She was cool when she paired with Leander Paes in the mixed doubles category at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea. She was cool when she visited the troubled state of Pakistan when she was barely 14, to play her first ITF juniors’ tourney in Islamabad, and then again as part of an Indian contingent for an under-14 ITF juniors event when the Indian Airlines plane was hijacked in Kandahar in 1999.Sania MirzaAnd now she is cool, sitting on the side lawns of the Sports Authority of the Andhra Pradesh tennis courts, talking about being paired with one of women’s tennis ambassadors, Frenchwoman Mary Pierce, in the doubles category at the US $140,000 WTA Indian Open in Hyderabad.As we talk about her maiden tourney in our neighbouring country, she says, “I have been thrice to Pakistan and every time the visit has been pleasant. But when the plane hijack happened we had to finish our games in two days and rush; it was scary during that time.”Dressed in off-the-court tennis gear after a morning training session, Mirza is busy getting up-to-date with her co-players, discussing opponents, strategies, and at the same time surprised at Isha Lakhani getting an upper hand over her opponent in her first round qualifier.”Oh, she is winning,” says Mirza, obviously delighted that her colleague is playing well.Indeed, Mirza has always delivered that air of confidence without caring too much about the hype”I have been lucky to have played with the likes of Leander — and now with Mary Pierce. I hope to learn a few things from her [Pierce] as I did from Leander.”As tennis fans across the globe are overawed by the amazing talent of Paes, so is the country’s top woman player.”He is so fast on the court and so encouraging. And the best part is in spite of such a wide chasm between our achievements he makes you feel at his level.”

    Mirza believes the mixed doubles bronze at the Asian Games is the most important medal of her career thus far.

    As her eyes move from court to court, scanning the matches of various qualifiers, our talk drifts to the WTA event in her own city, Hyderabad. Is it the most important event of her career?

    “Well, I have played the Grand Slams… yes, but definitely this is my first instance of rubbing shoulders with the seniors… and that with some of the best in the game.”

    Mirza has not played active tennis since she won the National Games gold medal in December. She was at her peak then despite a minor ligament stress in her left knee.

    “I played the best tennis during the National Games, especially from the quarter-finals onwards,” she says.

    Her 6-0, 6-0 brutal assassination of not-so-well Manisha Malhotra must have been one of the best victories.

    “I really played well, but she was having fever,” points out Mirza, hastening to add she too was tired and looking for a much-needed break after playing non-stop tennis for some eight months.

    “I was very tired and needed a long break to re-coup.”

    Apart from a week’s stint at the CGK Bhupathi Academy in Bangalore, Mirza has been cooling her heels at home.

    One of the major events she skipped to relieve her work-stress was the Australian Open juniors.Sania Mirza

    “I will also not play at the French Open as clay is not my favourite surface. So I wouldn’t like to compete there,” she informs.

    Sounds a nice strategy as it is better to concentrate on the strong points rather than struggle, dealing with the weaker ones. After Hyderbad, the Mirza caravan [she travels with her mother] moves to Doha. Then she plans to participate in a few ITF tournaments.

    “I have planned nothing long-term and after Doha I would play a few ITF grade one tourneys where I can encounter the much-needed higher level of competition.”

    Indian women have always performed well on the ITF junior circuit but when it comes to the big league they are not up to the mark. Mirza, too, has not encountered the top players in the juniors and that remains a major predicament. But she doesn’t seem bothered.

    “I don’t think I need to beat the top-25 to prove a point. I am playing at the top of my form. I just want to concentrate now on good events in the near future.”

    The burning desire in Mirza is certainly hot at the moment. In fact, she had made it clear in her last interview with rediff.com that her priority is getting into the professional circuit. The wild card she’s received at the WTA Indian Open is just a mark of respect to her increasing potential. She feels staying for another year on the junior circuit may alter all her plans and, hence, is pulling all stops to march ahead.

    Isin’t it true that who dares, wins?

    Source: Rediff.com

    WHEN THE media underscores cases filed against Sachin Tendulkar for cutting an India-shaped cake or Sania Mirza for disrespecting the tricolour, it is merely lapping up. I look upon at such episodes to be a futile activity, with no firm grounds. It is just a way of a person to get into the limelight, out of nowhere. With the aim of receiving good TRPs for showing scandals and controversies surrounding the sportstars, Bollywood big shots and other fields’ icons and the electronic media endow such pranksters with good exposure.
    Mirza has become the target of few sick people in past as well. Last month, Indian police registered a case of trespass against her for filming an ad in the premises of a mosque in her hometown, Hyderabad. The 21-year-old has also faced an edict in the past from a Muslim group after her tennis attire was termed un-Islamic.
    I am extremely disappointed by this recent controversy surrounding Mirza of showing disrespect to the tricolour. The Indian ace from Hyderabad is aiming for a top ten place in singles and doubles this year. She has got a very important year ahead of her. Most importantly, in the Olympics, she will be playing in the women’s singles and she has a great chance in women’s doubles of winning a medal. Not too long ago, Time magazine named Mirza among a group of people, who would create and change history.
    Rumour has it that the tennis star has dishonoured India’s flag by placing her feet right in front of it, while watching a match at the Hopman Cup in Perth. A lawyer in Madhya Pradesh has filed a case against her. If found guilty, she could be entitled to up to three years of imprisonment and a fine.
    I really don’t know what to say, but I am out and out against such allegations that are baseless. Mirza is a great nationalist and she has the highest regard for the national flag. It is not long ago when she had protested in the course of a match abroad when the Indian flag was not properly hoisted, and she had resumed play only after the mistake was corrected.
    The legitimacy of the photograph is also questionable. The angle of the shot distorts the proximity of Mirza’s feet to the flag. Moreover, it is possible that the flag was placed in a row in front of where she was sitting. Whatever be the case, one should refrain from dragging someone, who is doing so much for your country, unnecessarily. But unfortunately, this has now become a trend in India. A time may come when people like doing good for the country would be marred by controversies and would be unable to concentrate on their performance that should matter the most!
    Mirza is considering her future after the latest controversy. Everything is adding up and she is starting to wonder whether it is all worth it! But, people close to her are advising her to hang in there.

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