It’s a huge achievement for Sania Mirza. There is nothing quite like becoming World No. 1 in the sport you play. I actually saw her play during the last Asian Games in Incheon (South Korea) and was impressed. I also thought the likes of Ankita Raina and Prarthana Thombare played well and that the rankings weren’t keeping pace with their game. Actually, the entire women’s contingent played well, but the rankings weren’t doing justice in my opinion.
Again speaking of Sania, it is a massive achievement. Be it a male or female, becoming the best is not easy. While it is easier to become No. 1 in doubles than in singles, I’m sure she worked hard for it and all credit should go to her.
You usually win Grand Slams and then become No. 1, but Sania has attained that without winning a women’s doubles Major (she has won three mixed doubles titles). The women’s ranking is such that they can become No. 1 if they win big (Masters and year-end Finals) tournaments. A further example of that is Caroline Wozniacki, who became the top-rated women’s singles player without winning a Slam. But I’m sure Sania will be hoping to win a women’s doubles Slam sometime soon.
Saying all that, Sania’s achievement is big for Indian tennis, especially women’s tennis, and I hope more people enter the sport. She is someone who came into the sport as a singles player and had a few quality performances. But after she had a couple of knee injuries, she took a good call by opting to play doubles. And it looks like it’s worked for her.
The writer is India’s Davis Cup captain (as told to Swaroop Swaminathan)