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, Wimbledon

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> Mirza-mania, Wimbledon
post Jun 22 2005, 08:40 PM
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Tim Henman may think the hype surrounding him at Wimbledon is over the top, but at least he has a chance of winning the title.

India's Sania Mirza admits she has already fulfilled her expectations by getting past the first round, not that that will stop the whole of India expecting her to progress much, much further.
The 19-year-old is a superstar in her home country, largely thanks to her February triumph at her home-town tournament in Hyderabad.
That made her the first Indian woman in history to win a WTA title, a landmark which followed her run to the third round at the Australian Open, another first for her country.
Asked what life is like in India now, she replied: "Whenever I go out I need security, let's put it that way.
"It's tough. People have never had a woman doing well in such a big sport so they're very, very excited."
Mirza is relaxed and cheerful as she discusses the response from her home country, but it is clear the pressure is never far from her mind.
Does it faze her?
"It fazes me here, it fazes me everywhere but it's not in my control," she said.
"The fans expect a lot more than I can actually do. Do I think it's fair? No, but there's not much I can do about it.
"All I can do is go out there and give it my best."
Mirza already knows India will expect her to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round on Wednesday, as she did earlier this season in Dubai.
However, the teenager, a fearsome baseline hitter not unlike her Russian opponent, has only just returned to action after an ankle injury and is wisely playing down her chances
"Since I've beaten her once, they expect me to win this time but I have nothing to lose, " she said.
"My aim was to clear the first round so I am happy."
And if she does go out on Wednesday, Mirza has already ensured she can retreat quietly from SW19.
"I change my number so no-one can phone me anymore," she said with a smile.

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post Jun 25 2005, 01:51 PM
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nothing compared to Sharapova !
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post Jun 25 2005, 10:51 PM
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From NavHind Times online:

Mirza woos and wins British press

Agencies Wimbledon June 23: “Sania Mirza - remember the name.” So spoke the BBC’s television commentator as the Indian tennis ace crashed out of Wimbledon yesterday.

But judging by the British press coverage of her performances at the championship, people could be forgiven for thinking she had won the tournament rather than made a courageous exit on day three.

“Magical Mirza the centre of attention” reads the headline in The Guardian. “It was often hard to believe that Sania Mirza was really the loser yesterday,” the paper says. “The 18-year-old from Hyderabad was the one whose Centre Court debut attracted the curiosity, her’s was the personality which triggered a chain of interviews, and her’s was the performance watched by vast numbers on television in India. Her conqueror, Svetlana Kuznetsova, the US Open champion and a contender for the Wimbledon title, had just achieved a dramatic 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 revenge win. But it did not look like it. By comparison with the attention given to her opponent, she was largely ignored,” the paper said.

Similar compliments came from The Times. “Mirza has the power and audacity to go much farther but will need to cut down on unforced errors,” it said. “Centre Court will want to see more of the tempestuous teenager breaking the mould of the traditional Indian woman as well as records every time she steps on a court.”

Rave reviews about the teenager’s performance also appeared in Britain’s tabloid press.

The Sun newspaper says she was the first Indian woman to have reached the second round at Wimbledon, pushing fifth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova hard.

“Around 500 million people saw her battle on TV - and cop a warning from the umpire for throwing her racket,” the paper says.

The Sun says that Mirza appeared after the match wearing a t-shirt bearing the words: “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” “I was telling myself to keep cool,” The Sun quotes her as saying, “but I still lost my temper once.”

While other newspapers did not give Mirza such prominent coverage, the coverage was no less complimentary.

The Independent refers to her as a “talented debutante” while the Daily Telegraph says that Svetlana Kuznetsova frequently found her Indian opponent’s “booming ground strokes too hot to handle” before calling on her greater experience to squeeze through.

If you stop trying to make sense of it all, you'll be less confused. Reality is an illusion.
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