Ten­nis ace Sa­nia Mirza says with age she has learnt to deal with neg­a­tive com­ments

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Medha Shri Dahiya medha.dahiya@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

There are 1.2 bil­lion peo­ple in the coun­try, we can’t ex­pect all of them to talk sense. Even if one bil­lion peo­ple love you, that’s enough SA­NIA MIRZA, TEN­NIS PLAYER

Ten­nis ace Sa­nia Mirza was in the Cap­i­tal to launch her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, Ace Against Odds, on Fri­day. Al­though just 29, she thought she had a lot to share, so she de­cided to write the book. “Well, as a ten­nis player I am not so young. I started play­ing in 2003, when I was 16. To say the least, I have had quite an en­ter­tain­ing life, both on and off the court. A lot has been writ­ten about me, right and wrong. There have been mis­un­der­stand­ings too. So I thought the book was nec­es­sary. I felt if I didn’t write the book al­ready, my book would be re­ally fat! (laughs),” says Mirza, who is cur­rently ranked No. 1 in the women’s dou­bles rank­ings.

What is that one thing writ­ten about her which stands out as bad? And the ten­nis star, who bol­stered India’s po­si­tion in the pro­fes­sional ten­nis world, laments, “For me, the most painful thing is be­ing called un­pa­tri­otic. A lot of good things have been said, I feel privileged, but the most hurt­ful thing is that (be­ing called un­pa­tri­otic).” How­ever, she feels bet­ter equipped to deal with neg­a­tiv­ity now. “It’s lot eas­ier to deal with when I am 29, than prob­a­bly when I was 19... I’d have prob­a­bly burst out in tears. Ma­tu­rity has come with age. There are 1.2 bil­lion peo­ple in the coun­try, we can’t ex­pect all of them to talk sense. So, I give them the ben­e­fit of doubt, and even if one bil­lion peo­ple love you, that’s enough.”

Of­ten, re­ports of trou­ble in her mar­riage with Pak­istani crick­eter Shoaib Ma­lik crop up. Point that out, and she says non­cha­lantly, “We are fine. When we got mar­ried, we had de­cided to con­tinue do­ing what we were do­ing and as we were do­ing ... that’s what we have done in the past six years. It gets dif­fi­cult some­time as we are in a longdis­tance re­la­tion­ship most of the time, but I guess you can’t get ev­ery­thing at the same time. But I tell you what, the tele­phone com­pa­nies are very happy with us (laughs).”

She in­sists mar­riage hasn’t af­fected her ca­reer. “I know of peo­ple who had to com­pro­mise, but in my case, we were very clear. And it hasn’t af­fected him nor me. Then again, those are the choices you make... One day, I want to have kids, make ro­tis, et cetera, I am not against all that, why should I be, but right now, I am con­cen­trat­ing on ten­nis. I have no plans of re­tir­ing any­time soon.”

And how does it feel to be num­ber one? “It gives you con­fi­dence. I feel privileged.”


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