Controversies made me stronger, says Sania Mirza

The Indian tennis star says fighting for a match point is a lot easier than fighting critics.



Indian tennis sensation Sania Mirza, who ended the season on a high with a thrilling victory in the WTA finals in Singapore on Sunday along with her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black, described the moment as living a dream.

The Hyderabad tennis ace was speaking to the media on Tuesday after returning home. “We could have been knocked out of the tournament in the semifinals, but our immense focus and determination ensured that we added another title to our kitty,” she said, adding that the best from the duo was reserved for the finals which they wrapped up comprehensively. Sania and Cara reeled off 12 straight games to stun defending champions Hsieh Su-wei and Peng Shuai to record a 6-1, 6-0 victory in the WTA finals.

Stating that there was no substitute to hard work to achieve success, she said: “Success does not happen overnight. One has to work for it and I have been doing it for the past 21 years.” Stating that tennis had taught     her to fight back, the doubles ace said pressure was an amazing thing that     brought out the best in her. “If we keep fighting, miracles happen,” she said, adding, in a tongue-in-cheek remark that fighting for a match point was a lot easier than fighting critics. Sania was obviously referring to the several controversies she got embroiled in, the more recent being labeled as the daughter-in-law of Pakistan.

“The controversy only helped me and my family turn stronger. It showed how much the people of this country support me during my tough days. It certainly made me tougher,” she said, referring to the controversy.     Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the congratulatory message and     for his encouragement and support, she said: “Modi is a dynamic personality who loves sports and has been a source of encouragement to sportspersons.”

Following Sania’s victory at the WTA finals, Modi had tweeted: “Congratulations to Sania Mirza for the victory in WTA finals. This is yet another proud accomplishment.”

On the BJP’s nationwide cleanliness drive, Sania said: “It’s an amazing initiative and it is slowly spreading all over the country.”

Sania, who is Telangana’s brand ambassador, also thanked Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for appreciating her talent.

“For a sportsperson to get recognition from your state is motivating. Telangana Chief Minister KCR is dynamic, takes quick decisions.

“I was honoured when he appointed me as the ambassador. I will go and meet the Chief Minister in a day or two,” she said. On her future plans, the tennis sensation said: “I have two to three months at home. I have just come back, and I will resume training after a couple of weeks.” “I have another tournament lined up, so there isn’t much time to rest.”


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