Injured Sania ruled out for two more months

The six-time Grand Slam champion and former world No.1 doubles star, the 31-year-old Sania, who is out from the international circuit owing to a knee injury, opted to look at the positives even in a tough situation.

Sania Mirza hits with the kids at the Sports Village in Greater Noida on Sunday.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

Sania Mirza enthralled hundreds of kids as she hit with a dozen of them and addressed them during the launch of her signature academy at the Supertech Sports Village here on Sunday.

The six-time Grand Slam champion and former world No.1 doubles star, the 31-year-old Sania, who is out from the international circuit owing to a knee injury, opted to look at the positives even in a tough situation.

‘’I get to watch some cricket and spend time with my husband. I would be out in Dubai or Doha playing, had I been fit. I wouldn’t have been here. I am able to do a lot of things. The goal is to be healthy again’’, said Sania.

The awe struck kids had a great time watching Sania hit with some of them on the grass courts and a dozen of them were felicitated by Sania with trophies and certificates.

‘’Have fun. If you don’t love it, don’t play’’, said Sania, as she stressed the importance of sports in character building and personality development.

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‘’Sport is not about becoming champions. It is about accepting losses and wins. Even if you keep doing the right thing, there is no guarantees for success. Sports teaches a lot’’, she said.

Sania clarified that it was not possible for everyone playing sport to become champions, and that it was important to have many playing.

‘’How many play is more important than how many champions we have. Obviously, more numbers will lead to more champions. It is a great chance for the kids to have a place like this. They don’t have to catch a bus or auto, as I did in the early days, and travel for an hour just to find a tennis court. I wish I had something like this when I was young’’, said Sania.

The Sports Village spreads over 175 acres, and the Chairman of Supertech said that 70% of the land would be used for sports and only 30% for housing. The Managing Director of Supertech, Mohit Arora said that five sports academies would be housed in the Sports Village, with cricket, badminton, shooting and golf being the other ventures apart from tennis.

Sania said that she was proud to be associated with a venture which had other sporting icons like Gagan Narang and Shikhar Dhawan.

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Looking at her own academy back home in Hyderabad, having an Olympic size swimming pool, grass area for football, physical training etc., clay and hard courts, apart from a club house and gymnasium, in four acres of land, Sania said that Sports Village would obviously offer a lot more as it was catering to different sports.

Talking about her own situation, Sania who has been out from the professional circuit from October last year, said that the challenge was more mental than physical.

Sania Mirza with the champion kids at the Sports Village. Photo: Special Arrangements   -  Special Arrangements

 

‘’I have jumper’s knee. I may be out for two more months. It is getting better. It is frustrating because I have to only rest and do rehabilitation. It is difficult to watch Australian Open and not play. Quite hard to accept this. But it is not the first time that I am out. I have had three surgeries’’, she said.

Having won a medal every time from the time she played the first Asian Games as a 15-year-old in 2002, Sania said that she ‘’can’t look that far’’, even though her goal was to be ready for the second Grand Slam of the season.

‘’I would like to play as long as I can and win more medals’’, she said.

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Looking at the Fed Cup being staged in the Capital next week, Sania said that it would be ‘’a great experience for the players, young and keen’’.

Asked about not having a singles Grand Slam champion in the country, Sania shot back that it was ‘’very difficult’’ and that ‘’we have to be content with what we have’’.

The time that she gets to spend at the Sports Village may depend on the contract, but Sania hastened to add, ‘’I don’t need a contract to help people’’.

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