Dec 18, 2007

‘Hang in there, Sania’

Mahesh Bhupathi offers some advice to his protege

Sania Mirza and controversies are synonymous. Now the young tennis star is involved in yet another row, with her ad-shoot on the Mecca Masjid premises inviting a lot of flak and censure from the right wing Islamic organisations. Her mentor Mahesh Bhupathi offers a sane piece of advice to the golden girl.

Do you think such controversies affect Sania’s game?
Sure, it affects the game. We are human after all! The worst part is that you can't do anything about all this. There are all kinds of people out there, who would do anything for cheap publicity but in the end, it’s the player who has to pay the price.

What’s that one piece of advice that you would like to give to Sania at this moment?
She hasn’t done anything wrong for me to advise her. But as a senior if I had to tell her anything, it would be 'Hang in there, it will all be over soon enough!'
You and Sania have done rather well in mixed doubles, yet you two don't often play together…
There are only four Grand Slams in one year. We play as and when we get the chance and the opportunity.

Any plans of playing with Paes?
We haven’t played together after 2002. We’ll be playing in Olympics in 2008.