Sania predicts a difficult future for Indian women’s tennis
Sania Mirza said on Tuesday that she did not see any Indian talent emerging in the upper echelons of women’s tennis in the immediate future, but hoped that might change along the way.
The Indian tennis icon played the final match of her 20-year professional career earlier today, losing alongside Madison Keys 6-4, 6-0 to Russian pair Liudmila Samsonova and Veronika Kudermetova at the ‘Dubai Open.
A former world number one in doubles and a six-time Grand Slam champion in doubles and mixed doubles, the 36-year-old Mirza’s innovative journey has inspired countless young people in her country to take up tennis.
“Every time we see a ray of hope, we either see they go to college, and after college they never come back to competition, or they just aren’t able to compete. take the next leap,” Mirza told reporters.
“If you’re talking about someone trying to be successful, not just me as a benchmark, but more than what I have, I honestly think it’s probably going to be someone who’s maybe five or six years old today. .”
The highest ranked Indian woman in singles at the moment is Ankita Raina, 30, who sits at 245 in the world, and the only other player in the top 300 is Karman Thandi at 265.
Apart from Mirza, there are only two Indian women in the top 200 in doubles.
“To see someone who is going to dominate at the highest level, I don’t know if I see that in the immediate future five to ten years. That’s the honest truth,” said Mirza, who was accompanied by her four years. -elderly son Izhaan at his last press conference.
Apart from focusing on her tennis academies, Mirza has also taken on a mentoring role for the Royal Challengers Bangalore women’s cricket team in the Indian Premier League.
Determined to help the next generation of young Indian girls “believe they can be champions”, Mirza sees this role as a great opportunity to do just that.
“The whole concept of me being there has nothing to do with cricket. It actually has to do with the mental aspect of things with these young girls,” she said.
“They’ve never been in positions where they’ve had so much money, millions straddling them. A lot of them haven’t been on TV, done commercials, filming .
“It’s so easy to get distracted from things like that. It’s also very easy to get tense and feel the pressure because so much is expected of you.
“I obviously had that for the last 20 years of my life. So I think at least in that mental aspect, I will be able to share my experiences just having to make them more comfortable.
“It also allows me to do something where I can share my experience in trying to make women’s sport better and more accepted, more recognized for the future in the subcontinent.”