She is according to many articles published in the last months.Here's one of them:
Playing for India is my motivation: Shikha
By Vijay Parthasarathy
Despite cynicism Shikha Uberoi takes pride in playing for India. - Photo: P.V. Sivakumar
HYDERABAD, FEB. 10. Such is the hype surrounding Sania Mirza in her hometown that she's had to turn as elusive as the Scarlet Pimpernel. The invisible barrier which springs up inevitably between the famous and the hoi polloi is, in her case, already as impenetrable as a poker player's gaze. She actually has — you shudder at the term — a fan-following.
Meanwhile, her doubles partner Shikha Uberoi faces no such trouble as she coolly reclines against her seat, in the top-tier of the stands, just as Sania's singles match begins.
Five months before Sania got the public tripping on tennis with her performance against Serena Williams, the Indian-American girl made the main draw of the 2004 U.S. Open and then, in the first round, clinically took apart Japan's Saori Obata, who was, at that point, ranked number 56 in the world.
In the next match — against Serena's sister Venus — the 21-year-old Shikha took an early 4-1 lead and gave the former World No. 1 a scare before eventually losing in straight sets.
By that time Shikha had already expressed her desire to play for India. Yet, any hype was muted and, as a society, we passed up the opportunity to bask in the reflected glory. That she was Vivek Oberoi's cousin barely received mention. There were no bright ideas of an ad with the Bollywood star either. Shocking, given that in the past we have often dwelt at length on the achievements of individuals whose Indian connections were more or less intangible.
Shikha, whose father is from Hyderabad, has won three ITF titles to date; she had decent results to show in 2004 and the match against Venus was something of a highpoint. "I knew I could beat Venus and I guess the pressure began to build a little after I got the lead," Shikha says, shaking her head, the twang not as pronounced as you might have expected.
"I didn't put away a couple of volleys fast enough and, well, there's a big difference between the top-10 in the world and the next 200."
She was supposed to graduate with the Princeton class of '04, but attended only a year of college and has, since, been on an extended break to allow her to concentrate on tennis.
"You have so many more tennis players in the U.S. who are good, so the competition is tough," Shikha says. "Training with Rick Macey (Venus's former coach) in Florida obviously helps my game, but in the end it's about how tough you are mentally on court."
Shikha has since confirmed that she will play for India this year in the Federation Cup. The decision to switch loyalties has been questioned. As a top-ranked player in India, Shikha would cut far more lucrative sponsorship deals and get treated better; but she seems to take offence at that.
"Yes, it's easier to land sponsorships but it wasn't an issue with me," she says. "I would have been hankering after endorsements and ads, and that's definitely not the case. Besides, in the U.S., I had tons of private sponsors approaching me.
"More importantly, here I can play in the Fed Cup, the Asian Games and represent India at the Olympics."
Shikha agrees that in a highly individualistic sport like tennis issues like patriotism matter more to the crowds than the players themselves. However, she maintains that her primary motivation is to represent the country.
A study in contrast
Shikha and Sania are playing doubles together at the Hyderabad Open and their styles appear as contrasting as their personalities. Shikha has built a decent all-round game, she is equally comfortable volleying as she is hitting balls from the baseline. Sania can volley if pushed, but the 18-year-old prefers to dictate terms from behind the baseline in her singles matches. Shikha's two-fisted backhand has more variety, while Sania's forehand is arguably world-class.
Sania is flamboyant to the point of sounding brash; Shikha looks more circumspect. Of course, she's three years older than Sania. Together, they complement each other's game, and Shikha says they get along extremely well.
Shikha is currently ranked 148 in singles and would have been India's top-ranked woman tennis player, except that Sania's third round show in Melbourne propelled her to number 132 in the WTA rankings.
"There's no rivalry there," she smiles. "I want what's best for the country, and it's silly to let something like that come in the way of doubles partners. Sania has been wonderful for tennis in India and I think the sport can actually compete with cricket on equal terms. "Females here don't play enough sport. The idea is to be an inspiration to young girls. Back in the U.S., Indian parents would randomly walk up to me, saying how proud they were of me. Imagine what I could do here."