Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sania confident during next season

On the comeback trail after recovering from a wrist injury, an optimistic Sania Mirza is confident of holding her own during the gruelling season ahead.With the Australian Open due to commence next week, Sania has chosen to play a high profile exhibition event in Hong Kong from January 4. She has fared resonably well on her return so far, beating world number 25 Agnes Szavay of Hungary and lost narrowly to Russian Ana Chakvetadze who is ranked 18th while representing the Asia-Pacific team at the World Team Challenge tournament last week.

''I'm reasonably happy with my performance so far but it is still going to take me a while before I can win consistently at this level,'' Sania said.

''I still have some way to go before I feel I'm playing at my best. It's never easy making a comeback but I am a positive person and feel that if I keep working hard I can get my rhythm back in due course of time,'' she added.

The 19-year-old is happy with her preparations for the Australian Open scheduled to be held at Melbourne from January 19 to February 1.

''Well, it's all been about treatment for my wrist injury, physical training and a three-week tennis and fitness camp in Bangalore along with Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and Purav Raja followed by some match practice in Hong Kong and Hobart.

Under the circumstances, I couldn't have done much more,'' Sania, who is in Hobart for a WTA Tour event, said.

Sania also defended her decision to skip the WTA event in Brisbane which had ranking points at stake.

''In terms of ranking points - yes, (by playing in Brisbane) I would have had a chance to earn a few points to ensure that my ranking didn't go down too many places. But in Hong Kong, I was assured of a couple of singles and a doubles match against some of the best in the world irrespective of whether I won or lost,'' she quipped.

''I decided that if I could maintain my level, I stood a good chance of regaining my ranking in a few months time and getting in more matches against quality players was initially more important for me on my comeback trail.'' The Hyderabad girl has given consirable attention to her fitness during her pre-season training and is confident of holding her own during a tough season.

''Yes, I have worked hard at my fitness and I do believe I'm moving better on court than ever before.

''Sport at this level is always tough and gruelling and I would not like to look that far ahead. I'm taking it one tournament at a time,'' she said.

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