The Sania mania

The Sania mania was in full blast at the Khalifa Tennis Complex. Thousands of Indian spectators thronged the stadium and cheered her throughout, often unnerving her opponents.

Sania, of course, did not need much support from the crowd as she was in control. She pounded her renowned opponents such as Tamarine Tanasugarn and Iroda Tulyaganova into submission. Sania made them look very ordinary with her explosive game.

The Chinese Taipei team proved a tough nut to crack. Chia Jung Chuang, who partnered Su Wei Hsieh to clinch the decisive doubles in the women's final, said: "When they cheered for India, we just pretended to believe that they were singing.'' The ploy did seem to work as Sania and Shikha could not win a set in the doubles though they fought hard enough to force a tie-breaker in the first set.

Of course, it was not just Sania mania that swept the Qatar capital. The Indian expatriates reached every venue to watch their favourite players in action. They even ventured out to the Lusail Shooting Range, situated in one corner of the desert city, far removed from the imposing skyline.

Jaspal Rana spent a lot of time with kids and families who congratulated him after he won three gold medals and a silver. Besides, the world record he achieved fetched him a Tissot watch from the famous Swiss company.