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  Topic Review (Newest First)
May 12th, 2005 03:16 AM
Ty-Ty Shikha and Lineskaya I think have played doubles (Qualies) in the last two tournaments.

Hope they do well!

Feb 13th, 2005 08:48 PM
Bероника 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."

Extended break

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."
Feb 9th, 2005 06:07 PM

Shikha after doubles match with Sania.
Feb 9th, 2005 12:48 AM
Bероника Shikha about Navratilova:

SHIKHA UBEROI: Ive already met her on tour, shes a very great person. There was one time in Australia when she allowed me to watch her practice. Its amazing if you see her, the effort, the seriousness more so when you look at her age. Its really an education for youngsters
Feb 9th, 2005 12:34 AM
Bероника She lost in the first round of singles.

Melinda Czink (HUN) d. Shikha Uberoi (USA) 67(5) 63 62
Feb 8th, 2005 04:05 PM
Bероника Sania-Shikha have it easy

Deepti Patwardhan | February 07, 2005 21:20 IST

"I don't think even the Arthur Ashe stadium [at Flushing Meadows, New York], with its capacity crowd, could be so loud," said Shikha Uberoi.

On Monday, the atmosphere at the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh stadium in Hyderabad was electric as local girl and India's new tennis sensation Sania Mirza took to the court along with Uberoi.

The stands were starting to fill in when the Indian pair walked out for their doubles match against Na Li and Chin-Wei Chan under the fading sun. The loud cheers, which edged on the frenzy, caused some anxiety -- as both players later admitted -- but inspired the Indian duo to a convincing 6-4, 7-5 victory in the first round of the doubles competition at the Hyderabad Open.

Shikha, who was recently permitted to play for India, began tentatively as she lost her first service game in the opening set. But the two complimented each other well to earn a double break and win the set 6-4.

"I was a little nervous. I had never played in front of such a huge crowd but my partner took me through," said Shikha, who was later seen playing with the crowd. The American desi settled in perfectly within the Indian mosaic and even bailed the team out in the end as Sania started wilting under the crowd pressure.

Leading 4-2 in the second set, the pair should have strutted home easily but Sania lost her serve and the Chinese pair started finding their groundstrokes.

"I guess even I was a little tight in the end, but I think we combined really well to win the match," said Sania.

The Indian pair had the advantage of serving first in the second set and though Li and Chan kept the game level till 5-5 they were under constant pressure.

Shikha upped her performance in the last few games and rallied beautifully from the baseline. Chan served a poor last game, and a double-fault handed the match to Mirza and Uberoi.

"After the initial nerves we were pretty relaxed out there, and kept chatting up each other. Sania kept telling me to forget that I was playing in front of such a huge crowd and just concentrate on my game," said Shikha, who teamed up with Sania only for the second time.

They previously played an eight-game qualifying round in Hobart, Australia.

"Don't ask about that match, this was a much better result," quipped Shikha.

Feb 6th, 2005 01:29 PM
Bероника Tennis: Sania, Shikha take to court in Hyderabad
TS Sudhir

Watch story

Sunday, February 6, 2005 (Hyderabad):

A day ahead of the Hyderabad WTA Open India's best women tennis players came together for a jugalbandi on court.

Sania Mirza, who is now ranked 132 in the world, spent a good 90 minutes on court on Saturday battling Shikha Uberoi. The practice session would have continued for some more time but for the floodlights failing.

"Pressures are always there. Every match you play, pressures are always there. I do not remember playing a match without pressures. It is much more now," said Sania Mirza, Junior Wimbledon Doubles Champ.

Emotional tournament

For Shikha, the Hyderabad Open is special for a very emotional reason.

This is the first time Shikha, who is based in the US, will be playing in Indian colours. No wonder, she wants to make the Hyderabad Open week her own.

"Physically, I would not be feeling much because I would still be playing tennis. But mentally and emotionally, I would be feeling lot more pride and motivation and hope to inspire more tennis players, especially girls all over India," said Shikha Uberoi, tennis player.

With her ankle not 100 per cent alright, Sania will be on painkillers while playing the Open.

Premier tournament

Both she and Shikha figure in the main draw and will hope to garner some crucial points to move up the ranks.

The Indian line-up at Hyderabad reveals one thing. That Hyderabad Open is not the adolescent tournament it was two years back.

In its third edition, it has become India's premier tournament for women to show their class on the international stage.
Feb 5th, 2005 08:57 PM
gvhvhg Is it time to move this thread out of the USA section?
Feb 5th, 2005 03:37 PM
Bероника 'Sania did it, I can also do it'

February 05, 2005 18:57 IST

Fired up by Sania Mirza's Grand Slam glory, Shikha Uberoi says India fortunes at the Fed Cup, the symbol of supremacy in women's tennis, would get a big boost in the coming days.

A US resident of Indian origin, Shikha who recently earned the right to play under India flag, says she is thrilled by the prospect of playing for India at the WTA Hyderabad Open commencing at Hyderabad on Monday.

"I have always been passionate about playing for India, It's always in my heart," the 21-year-old said.

Shikha, entered as wild card here, said she was "fired up" watching Sania make history at the Australian Open last month.

"She did it, I can do it also. I am not surprised by Sania's performance at all as she is a good player. She deserves to achieve what she has achieved. I am proud of her," says Shikha, trained by Venus Williams' former coach Rick Macey in Florida.

"Absolutely," Shikha replied when asked if India's prospects had improved at Fed Cup, with Sania, herself and Ankita Bhambri doing national duty.

"Depth in women's tennis in India has increased. We need to continue to inspire younger players to play tennis and pick up from where Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi left off".

Shikha also revealed that she planned to move out of the US sometime in near future while stressing on the need for tennis players in India to be given opportunities to go abroad and play big tournaments.

The player, who happens to be the cousin of Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, said she had an "incredible" 2004 and her personal goal this year was to break into the top 100.

Shikha, whose father hails from Hyderabad, the home town of Sania, started playing tennis in the US when she was seven.

In her Grand Slam debut at the 2004 US Open, Shikha defeated world number 56 Saori Obata and led 4-1 over Venus Williams in the second round before going down 5-7, 1-6.

Meanwhile, former world number four Jelena Dokic of Serbia said she is yet to gain full fitness but would take part in the Hyderabad Open.

Her game-plan was to take part in as many smaller tournaments as possible on her mission to break into the top 50 again. Winner of five WTA titles and known for her fighting spirits, she is currently ranked 126.
Feb 4th, 2005 10:12 PM
gvhvhg :d
Feb 4th, 2005 01:42 PM
Bероника Uberoi cleared to play for India

February 03, 2005 19:42 IST
Last Updated: February 03, 2005 20:15 IST

Shikha Uberoi's dream of representing India has come true with the International Tennis Federation clearing her change of nationality.

Shikha, who has been representing the United States of America, her country of residence, was cleared to play for India in professional and organised team events at a meeting of the ITF Board of Directors on the sidelines of Australian Open in Melbourne last week.

The ITF's decision means that the Indians will have two to tango at the $140,000 WTA Hyderabad Open next week where Shikha and teen star Sania Mirza will be wild card entrants.

In fact, Shikha, cousin of Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, had played her first event under the tricolour at the $170,000 Volvo Open in Thailand this week where she lost to Spaniard Conchita Martinez in the first round.

Twenty-two-year old Shikha is ranked 148 on the WTA Tour, 17 places below Sania, and has won three ITF titles so far. Her younger sister Neha too is looking for a switch to Indian passport.

Shikha has also confirmed her participation at the WTA Hyderabad Open 2005, to be held in the city from February 7 to 12. She has been steadily rising in world rankings since 2004 and has qualified herself for the tournament's main draw.

She was number 2 on the qualifying list and has moved up after certain players dropped out from the main draw acceptance list.

Over a short span of time Shikha has received acclaim from fans and experts alike.

In her Grand Slam debut as world No.275 qualifier at US Open 2004, she signalled her arrival by defeating world No 56 Saori Obata and leading 4-1 over Venus Williams in the second round before going down 7-5, 6-1.

In September last she broke into Top 200 at No.182.

Shikha is trained by Venus Williams' former coach Rick Macey.

Mahesh Bhupathi, Managing Director of Globosport, organisers of the Hyderabad Open, said, "Shikha has a strong connection with Hyderabad and playing here would naturally inspire her to excel. We are sure Hyderabad would inspire her performance to soar. She would be yet another player to watch out at the contest."
Feb 2nd, 2005 06:19 PM

Uberoi Shikha from the United States returns the ball to Conchita Martinez from Spain during the first round of the Volvo Women's Open tennis tournament in Pattaya, Thailand, on Tuesday, Feb.
Jan 28th, 2005 05:55 PM
Volvo Women's Open qualifying


Go Shikha!!!
Jan 14th, 2005 08:38 PM
Bероника Shikha lost to Teryn Ashley:6-3,6-3
Jan 13th, 2005 12:13 PM
Bероника She won easily: 6-1,6-4.

Good luck in round 2!!!
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