Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sania Mirza in the fourth round

Sania made it past Maria Bartoli and stormed into the fourth round to play Maria Sharapova, the current heartthrob of women’s tennis. On Friday, I watched Sania’s game, whenever the network would cut to the women’s game, while telecasting the men’s matches. Whatever I saw of Sania’s game, I liked. Powerful serves, must faster than Ramesh Krishnan’s, excellent ground strokes, a weak backhand but compensated by a ripping forehand. She made a few unforced errors, but one can discount that, attributing it to the impatience and immaturity of her age. Overall an excellent package and someone with a great future.

I hope that she takes it all at the US Open, a tall order, nevertheless, but I’m rooting for her. Check out her post game interview here.

For us, in India, it’s important that Sania makes it to the top echelons of world tennis. Why? Here are my 2 cents.

Why was the last time we had a woman sporting icon or any woman icon, for that matter, in India? PT Usha, was the last sporting superstar we had, nearly two decades ago. During the 1884, Los Angeles Olympics, when she came fourth. Yes there have been the odd blips, Anju George and beer guzzling and chicken glutton Karnam Malleswari . Besides these, and baring the Miss World, Miss Universe and Bollywood pretty faces, there is no woman superstar in India. Out of a nation of 1 billion.

So it’s important for Sania Mirza to get all the success that she richly deserves. For her face to be plastered on billboards all the country, endorse everything from cars, watches to pop drinks. For Sania Mirza to achieve the same level or more adulation that we accord to our undeserving cricketers. Why ? Because we need more Sania Mirza’s, more Kalpana Chawla’s, her politics notwithstanding, more , more Arundhati Roy’s , more Medha Patkars , more Indira Hinuja’s, and more Kiran Majumdar Shaw’s.

Why ? Because every time a father or father-in-law in the village, town or city in India looks at the billboard of Sania beaming down upon him, he will hopefully realize, that if accorded the same privileges, his daughter, like he expects his son to be, can grow up to be the proverbial golden goose as well. Not just source of dowry income and abuse. That’s why my money and mouth is in Sania Mirza’s corner. Go Sania, go get em girl.


Blogger Sunil said...

Because we need more Sania Mirza’s, more Kalpana Chawla’s, her politics notwithstanding, more , more Arundhati Roy’s , more Medha Patkars , more Indira Hinuja’s, and more Kiran Majumdar Shaw’s.

hear, hear.

Saw her play Sharapova today.....still not nearly as good as Sharapova...Sania's a little too erratic (hit or miss), but with a little more work (serve, court speed, mobility) she's top 20 material....

12:24 AM  
Blogger Sujatha said...

It was a good match, much better than the 6-2, 6-1 score suggests. It was awesome to watch some of the longer rallies.

And she is up on quite a few billboards here already. She's the spokesperson for Tata Tea, some jewellery shop and a gas (petrol) company. She will need to concentrate though. You know how it is in India - put someone up on a pedestal the minute they show some promise and then pull them down at the first sign of weakness. For all the reasons you've mentioned, I hope this does not happen with Sania.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Sumedha said...

I caught that match too. Sania hit some breathtaking winners but she has a lo-ong way to go. She doesn't move half as well as Sharapova. I remember lionizing the Russian star on my blog a year ago :)
Anyway, here's hoping that Mirza stays in the hunt. Her success is such a bolt from the blue. Reminds me of a Bollywood number: 'Na jaane kahaan se aayi hain, na jaane kahaan ko jayegi' !!

1:40 PM  
Blogger Anshul said...

At 18, Mirza rocks. At a time when most of her contemporaries are getting ready for college, she is getting ready for the kill. Clear about her priorities, Mirza's determination has seen her go past adverse situations with elan. It is also her determination to reach the top that has been largely responsible for her becoming the first Indian woman to win a WTA championship.

From the little girl who started playing tennis at the tender age of six, assisted by her father on clay courts, Mirza has sure come a long way. For someone who didn't get any training abroad to beef up her serve and backhand until last year, her leap from 326 to 42 (which incidentally is more than any player in the US Open's main draw) speaks volumes about her grit and determination.

9:16 AM  
Blogger chappan said...

Sunil: Yes she lost, but she has ways to go. Like our much hyped cricket team, who are showered with so much attention despite giving us just one WC, and when was that, way back in 83.

Suj: I missed that match after all that wait since I had to drive to Canada for a social occassion and was late getting back. Oh well, she'll be around. Now you should interview her for the radio show.

Sumedah: For my money the song is more like 'Aisa jadoo dala re'. Wait, theres more to come.

Andhul. Thanks. I agree. Entirely.

5:56 PM  
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