Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sania faces the wall

Sania Mirza is ranked outside the top 100 in the world, but even the best on the circuit know that the Indian is no pushover.

Sania's second round match against Russian 10th seed Nadia Petrova on Wednesday at the Australian Open promises to be a thriller.

In the first round of the Australian Open, Sania beat a higher ranked opponent in Marta Domachowska and that is sure to boost her confidence going into the second round.

Petrova has defeated Sania at Wimbledon in 2007.

"I beat her once and I lost once. Right now I honestly have no pressure on me. I am just going to go out there and try and do what I do best and try and stay focused on my game and we will see how things go," said Sania about her second round opponent.

Sania had a difficult year in 2008. She the year started with some good wins over players in the top 20. She also enjoyed a good run at Melbourne Park, before losing to Venus Williams.

But injury devastated the second half of the year and has made the comeback bid quite a challenge.

"I think Sania will have to go about six, seven or eight months, the last time she played a good tennis match. That is a long time. One needs to keep doing it on a regular basis," former India tennis player Ramanathan Krishnan said.

Sania seems to have made the right start. She looked at ease and in control of her game in her first round encounter. Most importantly her biggest weapon on court, her forehand, did not fail her.

"It was great to be hitting my forehand back to how I used to hit them. Yes, I felt like my forehand was going. My plan was to stay offensive as much as possible from the word go and that was what I tried to do," she said.

Coming back from an injury lay-off is never easy. But if Sania plays like she did in her first round match, then Petrova will have her hands full.

No comments: