Sania Mirza – For Love of Game!

25 Jun 2009 by Hiland in Wimbledon 2009

sania-mirzaAfter her first round, three set win, India’s Sania Mirza graduated to Court 12 on Day Three. Let’s re-phrase that. After her first round win and by virtue of the strength of her 28th seeded Rumanian counterpart, Sorana Cirstea, Sania Mirza moved up to court 12 for her early morning Day Three match. She was happy about it.

Perhaps a little surprised by 19-year-old Sorana’s blossoming popularity, which has surged since her impressive quarterfinal showing in Paris, Sania prepared herself for the persistent challenge the Romanian would pose. She has played stronger opponents, she has played weaker opponents. She has prevailed against stronger and succumbed to lesser opponents. Whatever the result, Sania is always credit to the game and a joy to watch.

Although doubles may be her strength, Sania Mirza enters every event at every tournament. Singles, doubles or mixed doubles, it matters not. Put a racket in her hand, throw three tennis balls on the surface with a net and an opponent and Sania Mirza will play. For Sania, it is game on! Any time, any place, any how.

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She brings a certain joy to the court. Perhaps not effervescent, but certainly never sullen, Sania simply enjoys playing tennis. And, it shows! Refreshing, exciting, novel and sometimes downright thrilling, Sania lays it on the court for all the fans to see. It is just the way she is.

Never an excuse, never a whine, just a sportsperson perfecting her game, Sania would be the first to admit she does not have all the answers. After 6 years on the tour, Mirza remains a work-in-progress.

As one of the game’s most gracious personalities and most fetching beauties, Sania fills a void in the world of professional tennis. Once ranked as high as 27th in 2007, she is currently the 85th singles player. But, she is the 37th ranked doubles player and teamed with Indian doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi, she claimed the mixed doubles title at Melbourne.

Some tour players might flinch at the mention of a mixed title on a resume. Not Sania. She entered, she played and she won. That is what you do when you are a budding doubles expert. You play singles to be ready for the doubles. And, every match, singles or doubles that you win prolongs your tennis career. That is how it is in the world of tennis for a work-in-progress.

On Day Three, Sania started fast. She jumped to a lead she could not hold. Once Sorana rid herself of the jitters, she began to pound the forehands that overwhelmed opponents in Paris. Both ladies chased down every ball. Mirza began to gamble, to go for winners. At the end of the first set, she was out of her game. Sorana claimed the set 6-4.

Amazingly she committed 30 unforced errors, compared to just 9 by Cirstea. Sania double faulted 6 times compared top Sorana’s one. Mirza only landed 53% of her first serves. That may well be the statistic that sealed her doom.

The shapely beauty was serving at 4-4 and the roof caved in. The serve left, the groundstrokes tightened and she fell to the mercy of the relentless Romanian.

To her credit, Cirstea went about her work. She broke to go up 5-4 and polished off the set quickly with a strong service game. Cirstea will move on to face tough Victoria Azarenka in a good third round pairing.

Sania will move to the backcourts for ladies’ doubles and mixed, where she is seeded 13th. She makes her living back there. Her loyal followers will be there, celebrating her tennis and the joy of her life. Nice match, ladies! Thank you!

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