'I will try to become world No 1 next year'

'I will try to become world No 1 next year'

'I will try to become world No 1 next year'

Having ended a successful year with victory in the doubles section of the WTA Tour Finals, Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza has set her sights on becoming the doubles world number one next season.

“That’s pretty amazing. People expect that much of me and wish so much for me. Like I said, I am getting closer to my goal which is to try and be number one in the world. I got a Slam this year, won the Championships. That’s one of my goals. So, I will try and be number one. Hopefully, that will happen next year,” she told reporters here.

Sania won the prestigious WTA Tour doubles title with Zimbabwean Cara Black in Singapore, a mixed doubles title at the US Open besides winning the mixed doubles gold at the Asian Games. She said the year has been “incredible” for her.

“To finish off the season like this, it’s good. Basically, I achieved what any tennis player wants to achieve in a year, win a Slam, win a gold medal and win the year-end Championships. It has been an incredible year for me. Especially, to finish off the partnership (with Black) this way, on such a high, winning the way we did in the final,” she said. 

She said the secret of her success was hard work. “There is no secret, unfortunately. You have to work. You have to keep working. As long as you keep working, it will come.
 It does not happen overnight as people think and hope that it happens. It has been a long career for me. I have been doing it for 21 years of my life. I cannot think of doing any thing else at least at this point of time. When you are down, you have to work even harder. That’s when you come through,” she said.

On the controversial remark of a BJP MP terming her a Pakistani, Sania said: “I actually want to thank all those people who put me through that. That makes me mentally tough. I think fighting a match point is so easy, than these people that I fight here. It is not just this year. It has been happening for a long time now. I wish them well. They have made me tough. It has also shown how much the country supports me. I think that came out visibly.”

Sania said she is looking forward to the partnership with Hsieh Su-wei. “Every partnership, relationship takes time to click. You have to work on it. You have to believe in the partnership. Me and Cara clicked immediately. Su-wei is a great tennis player. We have known each other for a long time. We will work on it. Hopefully, we will click,” she said.

Sania said the recent months have been very taxing for her physically. “It was extremely challenging for me. Last few months, it has been non-stop. It has been so hectic. I was sick before I went to the championships. It is something, you try and push yourself.

 Emotionally, to make certain decisions, whether to skip a tournament, go and play Asian Games, to come back with a gold from there and then still get into the championships and come back with a win from there. If I would have written a script, it would have been probably this way. It is a kind of living a dream,” she said.