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Infiniti2001
Mar 8th, 2006, 03:55 PM
Matthew Cronin | March 08, 2006 16:49 IST

India's Sania Mirza is hoping to renew her doubles partnership with Israel's Shahar Peer despite protests from some Muslim and Jewish groups.

Mirza, whose poor recent form has seen her slip from a career-high ranking of 31 at the end of 2005 to 45th, said she would have played with Peer at this week's Pacific Life Open, but the Israeli player had already booked a partner.

"You shouldn't mix up sports with anything else," the 19-year-old told Reuters at the March 8-19 tournament in Indian Wells.

"If I had to follow the stereotype of what a woman athlete should be in India, then I wouldn't be playing tennis because there aren't many girls who pick up rackets when they are six. If you believe it's right, if your loved ones believe it's right, then it's right."

Mirza and Peer united for the first time when they reached the quarter-finals of the event in Bangkok last October, but their partnership was met with anger by some religious groups.

"We are playing sports," Peer said at the time in Thailand. "We don't think about politics. It's a good idea to bring (cultures) together, but we will play together because we want to and will have good results."

VERY EMOTIONAL

Mirza enjoyed a breakout season in 2005, capturing her first WTA title in Hyderabad and reaching the fourth round of the U.S. Open before succumbing to Russia's Maria Sharapova.

But her results in 2006 have been poor. She has won just three singles matches in five events since the turn of the year.

"You should never be satisfied. People come up with that I'm the first Indian woman to accomplish blah, blah, blah, and that's the hardest part for me," said the 28th seed for Indian Wells.

"I would like to believe I'm tough enough to cope with all this pressure, but everyone has their moments," she said. "We're not machines, we're human. We have our breakdowns and feel lonely.

"I know the pressure is getting harder by the day," she said. "People in India get very emotional about their heroes, but I'm going to try to block out as much as I can."

Under the tutelage of Roger Federer's coach Tony Roche, Mirza has changed her service action and believes she's making progress.

"The second year is tougher," she said. "People know your weaknesses more. That's why I'm changing my serve now because people were taking advantage of it. It couldn't get worse, so it had to get better."

http://ia.rediff.com/sports/2006/mar/08sania.htm?q=cp&file=.htm

Mightymirza
Mar 8th, 2006, 04:22 PM
yeah sania...Good luck at IW...She just partnered with Sugiyama for IW...Hopefully they will go further in the draw...

tennisrox
Mar 8th, 2006, 04:29 PM
The kids have guts :yeah:

ezekiel
Mar 8th, 2006, 05:07 PM
That's really touching :)

sapir1434
Mar 8th, 2006, 05:12 PM
Good luck to both with their partners :yeah:

Kunal
Mar 8th, 2006, 05:22 PM
good luck sania

but please pull ur shit together

this season has been mostly talk and no results

pcrtennis
Mar 8th, 2006, 06:14 PM
Glad to see her serve is being changed...She and Ai have a good shot!

Apoorv
Mar 8th, 2006, 08:14 PM
yeh Sania! just keep on improving and dont let unimportant matters bother you.

Carmen Mairena
Mar 8th, 2006, 09:01 PM
:worship:

switz
Mar 8th, 2006, 09:18 PM
and this is why i didn't call her a retard or racist like some others after reading one not very well sourced article saying she wasn't going to play with Peer because she was Jewish

Diesel
Mar 8th, 2006, 10:41 PM
and this is why i didn't call her a retard or racist like some others after reading one not very well sourced article saying she wasn't going to play with Peer because she was Jewish


A lot of people in that thread were allergic to common sense.

drake3781
Mar 8th, 2006, 10:52 PM
Good for Sania! It takes a lot of self-confidence and courage to speak up like this on an important issue, especially at her young age.


Also note Sania has some good advisors and/or public relations people, which is great!, as compared to at least one other player who needs it badly but apparently too blind to see it or too dumb to care.

PLP
Mar 8th, 2006, 10:56 PM
A lot of people in that thread were allergic to common sense.

It seems like a lot of people, 'in the name of religion' are as well...I hope they play together again too...P

Harju.
Mar 9th, 2006, 12:35 PM
Great article. Sania is very matured. :)