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Tempted to return to singles: Sania

Pragya Tiwari, New Delhi, October 8, 2012, DHNS:

Indian happy with doubles display

Sania Mirza may have decided to quit singles a couple of months ago but she confessed feeling “tempted” to make a return and has even been practicing “on the sly”.

Following a spate of injuries that rocked her career, the Hyerabadi decided to turn her focus solely on the doubles game.

 The 26-year-old, who last played in the singles in June on grass and has since slipped to 286th place, said she is still mulling on the matter and will be taking a final decision in a couple of months.

"If someone would have asked me to reconsider singles a couple of months ago, I would have said a straight "no". But after US Open I have been very temped to play in the singles. I feel I still have the ability  but it is my body, particularly my knee, which puts me in doubt. In fact, I have even been practicing for singles on the sly,” she laughed.

“I have already made three comebacks and this one will be a fourth. So I have to take a sensible call on it. It will also depend a lot on my new doubles partner and how she takes it. Playing in singles will mean playing a lot more matches, including the qualifying now.”

Meanwhile, Sania is enjoying her good run in the doubles this year, the most recent being her final appearance at the China Open in Beijing with her new Spanish partner Nuria Llagostera Vives.

“It has been a very good year for me, reaching six finals including a (Grand) Slam. Doing well at the end of the year is always special. Obviously, we would have liked to win the final in Beijing but no complains,” said Sania who was here at the DLTA complex during her five-hour stopover en route Hyderabad.

“At the moment I am playing with Nuria and will play with her in our last tournament for this year at Moscow. But I am yet to take a call on whom I will be partnering next year.”

The year has also been marked by fallout with her mixed doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi with whom she won both her Grand Slam titles. While she insisted all is well with Bhupathi, she has zeroed in on a new mixed doubles partner for the 2013 Australian Open. She, though, refused to reveal the name.

“I have not committed for a year, so I will take a decision before the Australian Open.

“But it’s not Mahesh. Our relationship is a lot more than that. We may not talk for some days or a week but our families have been friends for long. I met Mahesh, Lara and Saira in Beijing and it was nice. We won’t like to mix our personal and professional matters,” she added.

In fact, she will be back training with Mahesh and Rohan Bopanna like every year in Mumbai in December but before that Sania plans to take a few weeks off and be with her husband and Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik in South Africa during the Champions League Twenty20 tournament.


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