So much has been written about India's tennis ace, Sania Mirza deciding to skip the Bangalore Open in March 2008. Experts have even written obituaries of her sizzling career with almost no future. Veterans of the game have ridiculed her for having taken the stand that she will not play tennis in the near-term within the country. Commentators of the game have gone on record saying that she should reconsider such decisions, as ATP tournaments rarely come to India, players like Venus Williams are coming home for the first time ever and that Sania has a great opportunity to defeat the top 10 players in her own backyard, given the crowd support and momentum.
But well, hang on a minute! Has anyone ever seen the champion's point of view? She just says that she finds it so difficult to focus on the game, given the innumerable distractions and "imposed" controversies, none more than the one to do with the Indian flag and her feet. Call it the mastery of the cameraman to have brought in that controversy to the front pages.
I genuinely feel that Sania is standing up for herself, for her values.She is just saying to the world that she may love the country immensely and will do anything to represent the country and win,but, she will not accept such demeaning behaviour by people instigating such controversies.
In my mind, she has demonstrated enough by going all out in the Fed Cup despite nursing an injury.How many times have we seen the other tennis ace, Leander Paes go out and do it for India in the most extenuating circumstances? But, the difference is, he was never ridiculed for anything and rightly so. Similarly, its just not right to accuse Sania with mundane things such as short skirts,because that is how the game of tennis has been played for decades. Alright, connoissuers of the game can argue that back in the early part of the last century, girls played tennis with full trousers,but unfortunately, they need to remember that Sania Mirza is a reflection of the generation next.She is a core part of the new breed of achievers emanating from Indian sport.She is the next big hope of a country to win the coveted Wimbledon crown, down the line, which means she needs to play on grass like in the upcoming Bangalore Open. However, the current environment is not letting her build that expertise.
She is ranked in the top 30, which is no mean feat for an Indian sportsperson.So, why stop the juggernaut with such "imposed" controversies? I just hope she gets back on track soon and shuts out all the negative vibes going around.We have had a Prakash Padukone get us an All England Championship many years ago;we have had a Geet Sethi give us crowning glory in billiards many times;we have Olympic bronze medals from shooting and weightlifting.We have had Leander and Mahesh bring us many a doubles championship for us.Let's not stop Sania from getting us great glory in individual sport,for our country!