Sania Mirza said Tuesday that she doesn’t see any Indian talent emerging at the top of women’s tennis anytime soon, but hopes that could change down the road.
The Indian tennis star 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 in Dubai. Open.
A former Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles champion, the 36-year-old Mirza’s career has inspired where many young people from his country play tennis.
“Every time we see a glimmer of hope, we see either college, but after college they never come back to compete, or unable to jump again,” Mirza told reporters.
“If you talk about someone trying to achieve, not only me as an icon, but more than what I have, I honestly feel that maybe someone is five or six years old today.”
The highest-ranked Indian woman in singles at the moment, 30-year-old Ankita Raina, is ranked 245 in the world, but only 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’s going to be in charge at the top, I don’t know if I’ll see that in five to 10 years in the future. That’s the honest truth,” he said. a Mirza, who accompanied his fourth year. -grandfather Izhaan at his last press conference.
Apart from focusing on her tennis studies, Mirza has also taken up a coaching role for the Challengers Bangalore women’s cricket team in the Indian Premier League.
Wanting to help the next generation of young Indian girls “believe they can be champions”, Mirza sees this role as a great opportunity to achieve that.
“The whole point of me being there is nothing to do with cricket, it’s really to do with the mindset of these little girls,” he said.
“They haven’t gotten to the point where they have a lot of money, they have millions riding on it, most of them haven’t been on TV, they haven’t done it. advertisements, pictures.
“It’s easy to get distracted by these things, it’s easy to get stressed and overwhelmed because of the high expectations for you.
“Obviously I’ve had that for the last 20 years of my life, so I feel like the best thing on that mental side is that I’ll be able to share my experiences just to make them happy. feelings.
“It also makes me do something that allows me to share my experience in trying to make women’s sports better and more acceptable, more visible for the future in the subcontinent.”
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