Sania glad with support extended to Indian tennis

"I cannot be happier and I hope Indian tennis will take that big jump and produce more champions," said Sania Mirza, at the WTA Future Stars Clinic held at her academy in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

The six-time Grand Slam winner was also certain that Indian tennis would flourish in the upcoming years.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Six-time Grand Slam winner, Sania Mirza, says the WTA Future Stars Clinic is part of the efforts to take the sport to the next level in India.

"I am really glad to see about 60 kids turn up at my academy today and wish many of them will pursue the game with the same passion," Sania said, after the promotional event also featuring Bollywood celebrity Neha Dhupia at Sania Mirza Tennis Academy on the outskirts of Hyderabad on Tuesday.

"In fact, this has been the dream for me when I set up the Academy and I am glad there is support for sports in India other than cricket," she said. "I cannot be happier and I hope Indian tennis will take that big jump and produce more champions,"' she said.

"Look at the way Mithali and her team did so well to reach the World Cup final. It is an incredible achievement by these girls. They have made the entire country proud," she said.

"The sad part is, I wonder, where was all that support till they reached the final. Reaching there is itself a fantastic feat. I just hope serious efforts will be made to cash in on the euphoria of this great show before it dies down to give women's cricket the needed fillip," she added.

"Well, be it Saina, Sindhu, Mary Kom, Sakshi Mallik, to name a few, they represent the women force from India and I feel honoured to be with them in that group," she quipped. "Everyone has to understand how difficult it is for any athlete, more so for a girl, to reach such heights. Treat everyone equally," Saina said.

For her part, WTA vice-president Mellisa Pine said she was pleased with the response to their Future Stars Clinic today which also featured children from the Freedom Again Foundation.

"It is important to know that it is Indians who have been doing well in the Future Stars event held along with the year-ending WTA Tour finals for the top players in the world in Singapore," she said.

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