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I can match the best: Sania

Source: PTI
September 05, 2005 09:52 IST
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Sania Mirza said that nothing would force her to abandon her firebrand tennis, and it is victory achieved through aggressive shot making that gives her joy.

The 18-year old, who created history by becoming the Indian woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam at the US Open, said she is bound to err while going for the lines but climbing down from attack is not her way of winning a match.

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"I don't think anything can convince me to temper that. That's the sad part. But, I mean, I guess people just have to accept it. That's how I play," Sania said after going down 2-6, 1-6 to Russian top seed Maria Sharapova in the fourth round on Sunday.

The Hyderabadi girl has won many hearts with her powerful groundstrokes but she has also been inconsistent, her game filled with numerous unforced errors.

Against Marion Bartoli in the third round, Sania made 49 unforced errors while winning in straight sets, and against Sharapova, she had six doublefaults.

Sania, however, said her fans will have to live with it.

"I'm going to have maybe 50 unforced errors one day, but I'm going to also have 50 winners that day. I think people just have to accept me the way I play," she said.

"Maybe I can add variation to my game, but I'm going to win matches only when I hit those winners. If I win matches by moon balling, then I'm not going to satisfy myself the way I played that day.

"I enjoy hitting the ball as hard as I can. I enjoy taking risks. And I believe that you always have to take risks. You know, I enjoyed every minute out there today."

The Indian ace said should she get a chance to play against Sharapova again, she would still go for her shots and there would be no change in tactics.

"No, I mean, today if I would have pushed the ball, I probably would have lost Love and Love. So I had to go for my shots, and I did," said the first Indian to win a WTA Tour title.

"I got a few in. I got a few out. That just gives me experience. Probably next time, you know, I'm probably going to have a lot more matches hopefully against her, and it's just a lesson."

The 2003 Wimbledon junior doubles champion said she did not lose sleep as she did before playing Serena Williams at the Australian Open early this year.

"No, today I don't think I was nervous, not even a little bit actually. I was expecting it," she said.

"I knew it was going to be packed and I was expecting there was going to be a lot of crowd for me and her. So I was prepared for it mentally. I don't think I was you know, I wasn't intimidated."

Sania agreed that her serve needed improvement but she could not work on it before the Open because of the abdominal muscle strain that had afflicted for the past several weeks.

"I think except my serve, I played a good match. I hit the ball well. I was feeling it well. You know, I'm just happy that I made it to the fourth round."

And she is proud of her groundstrokes which she believes is on par with the best in the game.

"I always believed that. I always say that I can match the best when it comes to the groundstrokes.

"It's just probably a few other things like the physical fitness or the serve that I kind of have to work on to match them.

"You know, it didn't surprise me. Yeah, like I say, it's going to give me confidence the next time I'm going to step on court."


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