Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza – The Indian Kournikova

The world of Indian sports has been in a state of hysteria over Sania Mirza for quite some time now. The Indian tennis queen has been in the limelight for both the wrong and the right reasons. She has even been projected by the media as the new face of women empowerment in India.

Sania Mirza really burst on to the scene in 2005 when she reached the 3rd round of the Australian Open. From then on she had a splendid year winning the Hyderabad open and beating some top seeded players, including a former grand slam champion, in the Dubai open. The highlight of the year was her 4th round defeat to Maria Sharapova in the same year. During the time her rankings soared, reaching a career high of 31.

However from then on there has been a steady decline in her rankings and in her performance contributed in no mean terms by a spate of niggling injuries and a seemingly apparent lack of application. It would be a wonder if she ever reaches the same height that she reached in 2005.

So what makes this average player so great in the annals of Indian sport? First of all let’s not take anything away from what she has achieved so far. It is all very commendable in a nation which has long suffered mediocrity in the realm of sport. Barring a game which is played only in a handful of commonwealth countries, India has rarely had any real international sporting success.

That being said, one is perplexed at the kind of attention that Sania is generating at the moment. There has been other world beaters too who have achieved as much if not more in their own field. Leander Paes won a bronze in the Atlanta Olympics. He reached the quarter finals of the US open once not to mention the innumerable Houdini acts he has staged in the Davis cup. Pankaj Advani won the world snooker championship and Anju Bobby George won India a medal in the world athletic championship. She even reached a career high ranking of 5 in the world, in long jump. But the media as well as the corporate world never jumped on to them as they did with Sania.

But then again it is not a wonder is it? Sania is definitely an eye candy and whether or not she is a good player is almost secondary. As far as the media and the corporate world go she is a more presentable and attractive dish to the TV glued generation who is more obsessed with image than anything else. So it does not matter that an Anju Bobby George has achieved more than Sania and has a higher standing in her own sport. Bottom line is that she is just not attractive enough for anyone to clamor for her attention. Also the fact that Sania hails from an orthodox minority community doesn’t hurt her cause either. Politicians fall over one another to showcase her as, and to take claim of, the progress made by that community.

Is that fair? Hell No! But wasn’t that the same situation when Lindsay Davenport and Anna Kournikova were playing? Lindsay was the No1 player at the time and Kournikova was the most searched (or some such title) personality on the net. Remember Kournikova never even won a singles WTA title in her career, when she was much more talented than what that fact suggest. This is again a reflection of our obsession with image rather than substance. Media thrives on this obsession of the public whips them into a frenzy until it is almost everyone s taken over by it. Even their minutest achievements are heralded like the second coming of Christ. Then they quickly change tracks and begin to destroy the same personality. They thrive on their failures and their tragedies. Sania too has had to pay the price of fame when a cleric of her community issued a Fatwa for her miniskirts. Her unnecessary remarks on pre-marital sex and the bold one-liners on her T-Shirt did not help matters either.

To be fair to Sania it is not her fault if she is attractive and is subjected to so much attention by the media. A sportswoman’s career is very limited and she has every right to make hay while the sun shines. But if she begins to have her head up in the sky and starts to look down upon everything else then it’s unpardonable. She has to keep in mind that she is now a role model to countless other kids who wants to follow he success, whether she likes it or not. Already she has given the impression of being an arrogant show off. She seems to have lost her focus from the game.

Let’s hope that she will mature as time goes by as we tend to forget that she is only 20 years old. If she goes the Anna Kounikova way, it will be a loss to Indian Tennis. Sania should probably take a leaf out of Maria Sharapova’s book as she seems to handling glamour and matches quite well. Sania Mirza should realize that there are many in this country that has not got the kind of opportunities that she has been given and would do well not to waste it. India needs talents like her to utilize her tennis gifts to the fullest extent possible. We are most happy when she wins matches. Not when she runs around in tight fitting skimpy clothes acting like a contestant in a beauty pageant.


ATUL DOGRA said...

hey man you have posted superb photo of sania , i have downloaded some of them . nice post .

Martine said...

Thanks for the visit, a very interesting blog you have there, I will certainly be back. But, aren't you a little too judgemental about that young woman? As you said it, she is only 20. She still has to learn and it is very difficult to adapt to sudden fame at that age, don't be to hard on her, she will need support those days could pass... The sport world is a very tough one.

CaptainMathanga said...

ya marine you are absolutely right. I was only trying to put across the point that she has been getting herself involved in unnecessary controversies which is affecting her game. We have too few talented sports people to afford losing them

Anonymous said...

You can't handle sexy, smart, sophisticated women, can you? Sania wearing shorts is a big deal, while mainstream actresses showing everything else and rolling around with different guys on screen and off-screen is alright? Sorry, your post only shows that we Indian men have to grow up, and realize women are smart, sexy and powerful in their own manner. If some guy can't handle that, then its his problem - not Sania's.

CaptainMathanga said...

Mainstream actresses are paid to to do whatever they do on screen. It is their imperative for them to stay in the limelight, for which do all the antics off the field too. Sania's job is to play and i dont have a problem with her wearing anything at all as long as her performances dont suffer. I was highlighting that she concentrates more on things off the game than on it. She should realise that unless she concentrates on her game she will be just another fad which will fade away as soon as it came.If you feel what she is doing right now is smart well... its your opinion.

Unknown said...

thanks for stopping by and leaving a message on my blogspot Sania. Nice blog.

Maulik said...

Nice Pics of Sania.....

Unknown said...

Sania Mirza is a Indian tennis player. She was born in Mumbai & now lives in Hyderabad.

Coached by her father Imran Mirza, she began playing tennis at the age of six, turning

professional in 2003. She was the highest ranked female tennis player ever from India,

with career high rankings of number 31 in singles & 24 in doubles.
Please Visit For More Deatil

contactos barcelona said...

This can't succeed in reality, that is what I think.