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Old Aug 25th, 2006, 04:35 PM   #19
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Tennisrox,

here's another question from the same interview where she touches another aspect of what you mentioned (the ability to play with the subconcious mind instead of the concious):

Tennis Week: Did you always hit such a heavy, hard forehand? And if so is it because you had timing or were you a naturally strong girl even as a kid?

Sania Mirza: I was never a strong girl. I was naturally very small and petite. When I was younger, I was a tiny girl. They didn't even think I was gonna grow that much. I'm five-foot-seven and a half and they didn't think I would grow that tall. I think it was just timing, especially on my forehand. Interesting, I used to have a really Westernized grip. I mean, my grip now is semi-Western, but before it was like really, really almost (Alberto) Berasategui-like. I learned on clay, but the clay in India is very different. It's brown, orange-brown, but it is very fast, almost like a hard court and it's so much easier to slide on. It's like playing on a hard court, but you can slide on it. Thankfully, before I started the cow dung courts were going out (laughs). So I had this grip, but they wanted me to change it and everyone had their opinion. I got to this point where I am today where it is semi-western and I could not go any further because that is my natural shot. When you're eight you want to try different things to make it as perfect as you can. So I stopped at eight, but even at age nine they used to say I had one of the biggest forehands in the under-16s in the whole of India so today they say I have one of the biggest forehands on the WTA circuit so obviously people could see I had a big forehand even when I was nine. It just comes so natural and it comes so effortless it just seems like I can hit it as hard as I want when I'm relaxed. That's when the problem comes: when I try to hit it so hard that's when I make errors. It's like everything else: when you force it to much, you mess it up. So I have to be as natural as I can on that. I have this photographer in my room of myself hitting a forehand when I was seven. And I have the same photo from the Sharapova match at the U.S. Open last year and the style of my forehand in that photo looks exactly the same as the one I was hitting at age seven.
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