Indian celebrities prefer to enter be in the news in whichever way possible, and the recent incident with respect to Sania Mirza’s denial to play in any of the Indian tennis tournaments, does nothing to prove the above statement wrong. Sania, in full consciousness, made a bold statement that she would not be playing in India due to her constant liaison with the media in the country which subject her to a hoarde of of controversies. The latest to top the list of controversies would be the alleged disrespect to the Indian national flag during the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia.
‘Ever since Sania Mirza had broken into the top 50 players in the WTA rankings, she has attracted a lot of attention, a tad overboard for all the wrong reasons.’ According to her latest statement “Every time (that) I have played in India (,) there has been some kind of problem “.
Perhaps, the young tennis star needs to be reminded that the last incident that raised eyebrows had to do nothing with her association with tennis; rather it was due to her participation in a shoot that was being filmed within a mosque – allegedly without obtaining the required permission. Sania will be missing out on the forthcoming Bangalore Open next month, which, for the first time, will be featuring some big names, most notably the William sisters. Sitting this tournament out will not only alter her WTA rankings but will also ruin her chances to make good the mistakes she made in the first Grand Slam of this year. Moreover, Sania has made only a small impact on the tennis circuit as far as significant WTA events are concerned, and her crowning glory in Grand Slams has been limited to her fourth-round appearance in the 2006 U.S. Open – and that’s just about it. Sania claims that playing in India weighs too much on her mind and that she cannot concentrate on the court with so much controversies chasing her off it. This argument may very well not be acceptable to a avid sports fan, who can easily quote Boris Becker, John McEnroe and Marat Safin as salient examples: these three truly count among the great players of this game, despite the fact that their histrionics have caused many more reverberations around the world. Regarding the WTA circuit, nobody can have forgotten Justin Henin Hardin’s dream comeback, winning nine titles last year, after returning to the sport from shattering family issues. Indeed, if you play for your country, this all is really worth it. It’s a fact that Sania’s single WTA title was won in an Indian tournament only three years back, following which the only time she made heads turn was her entry into the finals of last year’s Cincinnati WTA event. Incidentally, Sania has been supported in her eschewing of Indian tournaments by Mahesh Bhupati and Rahul Bopanna. Controversies off the court can only be silenced by performing well on court; in the end, no player is above the sport. It is this sport only that has raised her in the eyes of the Indian public, who hardly blinks its eye at any other sport other than cricket, and who accordingly expects some return. Sania’s avoidance of Indian courts will surely create a certain vacuum for Indian viewers. Furthermore, Indian tennis is banking heavily on the guidance and examples set by Sania Mirza and other rising players for success in ’Mission 2018’, which aims at producing at least one Indian Grand Slam winner by 2018. However, looking at the examples these persons are setting both on and off the court, it will not take a genius to guess where this mission will finally land. Ajeet Singh [Image courtesy: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20051029/biz.jpg]