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sania mirza

This tag is associated with 21 posts

Sania Mirza: Dressing


“How I dress is a very personal thing.” 

—Sania Mirza. 

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Rajdeep Sardesai, Sania Mirza se panga mat le


How could a seasoned journalist like Rajdeep Sardesai appear so crass, insensitive and sexist on national television?

That’s the question that must be uppermost in the minds of most of his fans (I am one of his many admirers—he also happens to be a Xavierite)  when the veteran journo committed a faux pas by asking India’s number one female tennis star, Sania Mirza , the following query:

“Amidst all the celebrityhood, when is Sania going to settle down? Is it going to be in Dubai? Is it going to be in any other country? What about motherhood… building a family… I don’t see all that in the book, it seems like you don’t want to retire just yet to settle down.

…You don’t talk about retirement, about raising a family, about motherhood, what’s life beyond tennis is going to be…”

The response was swift and acerbic—typical Sania.

“You sound disappointed that I’m not choosing motherhood over being number one in the world at this point of time. But I’ll answer your question anyway, that’s the question I face all the time as a woman, that all women have to face — the first is marriage and then it’s motherhood. Unfortunately, that’s when we’re settled, and no matter how many Wimbledons we win or number ones in the world we become, we don’t become settled. But eventually it will happen, not right now. And when it does happen I’ll be the first one to tell everybody when I plan to do that.”

Sardesai quickly backtracked realising his erroneous line of questioning.

He said:

“I must apologise, I framed that question very badly. I promise you, you’re right, I would never ask this question to a male athlete…”

True, very true. Such a question would never be put to a male sportsperson.

Neither should it be put to any sportsperson.

There was very little logic  or reasoning to Sardesai’s enquiry. These are the type of questions every single career woman (or man)  learns to field  from ‘friendly’ , inquisitive neighbourhood ‘aunties‘—not from a TV presenter of Sardesai’s caliber.

While not detracting from the many sacrifices she has made to come so far,  it must be pointed out that Mirza is in her late 20s—not late 30s. She is a happily married, healthy young woman. She can have it all—should she choose. 

The interrogation was improper. And Sardesai had his just desserts.

Mirza was on television promoting her autobiography ‘Ace against odds’ coauthored with her father Imran Mirza and journalist Shivani Gupta.

Interview with Musab Abid, Managing Editor of Sportskeeda


Who and what is Musab Abid? Define yourself.

If I had to define myself in one line, it would be – ‘A tennis nut and a writer, with a bunch of obsessive compulsive disorders that make me perfectly suited to correcting mistakes wherever I find them.’

Musab, you’re currently Managing Editor with Sportskeeda. What prompted you to quit your job with KPMG as a Tax Executive , throw it all up as it were, and join a start-up like SK? Did you have any apprehensions while making that decision?

I have always loved writing and sports, and I didn’t get to be involved much with either of those things at KPMG. It’s not that I hated my job as a Tax Executive; it’s just that Sportskeeda offered me the chance to do so many things that I love. As for apprehensions regarding the fact that SK is a start-up, let’s just say that I’ve always had immense faith in myself and the people I choose to work with. I was always fully confident that SK would turn into a success story with Porush and me at the helm.

As a managing editor at SK, what does your typical day entail?

As much as I’d love to have a ‘typical day‘, the reality is that the term is alien to me now. Every single day brings new challenges, and sometimes I find it hard to predict what I’ll be doing two hours from the present. Whether it’s motivating the team members, evaluating the site metrics, communicating with clients or even editing articles myself, my work changes with every passing minute.

Four years, four months into SK, what are the highlights of your career there?

We’ve seen a lot of important milestones during the time I’ve been at SK. There have been the traffic milestones, the referencing milestones (where SK has been lauded by external sites for our work) and even personnel milestones. I think I personally have had a lot to do with the gradual quality improvement of the site (although there’s still plenty of room for more improvement there), as well as the strength of our social media.

What’s the best part about your job?

The best part about my job is that very little of what I do feels like ‘work‘. Many of the things that I do are what I’d like to do in my leisure time too, which is probably why I end up working a fair bit on the weekends too.

What’s the worst part about it?

I guess the worst part is that with all the day-to-day management work that I have to do, I get very little time to pursue my creative interests – mainly, writing.

It has been remarked that editors can’t write after having to wade through other people’s work. Has that been your experience too, a writer’s block? How do you get over it?

I personally haven’t found it difficult to write because of my editing work. I actually don’t get much time to write these days, as I said above – that’s the only reason why you won’t find too many articles lately on my writer profile.

Sania Mirza in Citi Open Tennis on July 31, 2011

Sania Mirza in Citi Open Tennis on July 31, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, you published an interview with Sania Mirza at the Australian Open. Can you tell the readers about your experience meeting India’s tennis diva?

The most striking thing about meeting Sania is that she’s hardly a ‘diva‘ in person. All those stories about her being an arrogant, spoiled child are either fabricated or a result of her forthrightness. She is honest to a fault, almost blunt, and that is refreshing to see in such a high-profile public figure.

What sports are you into besides tennis, of course?

I like cricket a great deal, and I also occasionally follow badminton and F1.

Do you have a fitness routine? Can you tell us about it?

About the only fitness activity I religiously undertake is playing tennis over the weekend – 2 hours each day. I do occasionally hit the gym, and on other days I try to do a small workout at home, but I’ve never been able to do either of those things with regularity.

Besides Sportskeeda, what are your favourite sites on the web?

I love tennis.com mainly because of Steve Tignor, and I also follow Jon Wertheim’s columns on Sports Illustrated. For cricket, Cricinfo has been my go-to destination for about a decade now.

What next for Musab Abid?

Perhaps my worst quality is that I never plan for the future; I’m dangerously fickle-minded. I honestly can’t say with certainty where I’ll be 1 year from now, but I do think it’s a strong possibility that I’ll be helping Sportskeeda take the next big step in its evolution. Either way, I hope that wherever I am, I am doing good work.

 

Musab Abid is the Managing Editor of SportsKeeda,”the largest all-sports website in India, reporting on more than 30 different sports with a focus on indigenous sports.”

SportsKeeda

Disclosure: The interview was facilitated via email. Answers are published as-is.

Sania Mirza: What she said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Sania Mirza works out.

What she said:

“Strong is sexy. I don’t think very skinny is attractive. I think healthy, strong and muscular is extremely attractive.”

Sania Mirza is not confused. She’s a tennis player first and then anything else or everything else.

The Indian tennis diva says:

“I have the kind of body that no matter how much weights I lift, I don’t look muscular – not that I have a problem with anyone looking muscular. I don’t bulk up, I don’t have that body shape or type, which is not a good or bad thing, it is what it is. Tennis is my first priority. If I don’t have tennis, I don’t have anything else. I don’t think anyone wants to photograph me if I’m not playing well. Tennis requires me to have a certain level of fitness and strength, and I’ll do everything I can to get there.”

What she really meant:

“Strong is beautiful. Isn’t that the WTA tag line for their promotional video. Can I say otherwise?”

What she definitely didn’t:

“I wonder why tennis players don’t come in ‘petite’ anymore.”

 

 

Sania Mirza: Mixed doubles


“In mixed doubles, the woman is constantly targeted and under severe attack. The one who holds up better against that fierce onslaught normally ends up on the winning side. So, in that sense, it is the woman who is the key to success in mixed doubles.”

—Sania Mirza.

Saina Nehwal: What she said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Saina Nehwal makes no song-and-dance about her name or her (almost) namesake—merely her achievements.

What she said:

“If you’re starting your career and you have a name that is similar to a celebrity, it also gives you an added advantage.”

Saina Nehwal is not in the shadows anymore—certainly not Sania Mirza’s.

Speaking to Mint Indulge, the No.1 Indian woman badminton player said:

“For me, badminton is my love. And I was persuaded by my parents to follow it when I was quite young, say around eight years old. I have still not taken it as a profession, rather I take it as my duty and I enjoy it a lot. I have also been helped by the sacrifices that my family has made, the hard work of the coaches I worked with, the support of the financiers, love of the fellow countrymen and, of course, blessings of the almighty. But my parents are the producers of this badminton project. That is why I am here in badminton. Also, I love badminton because it does not know the boundaries of caste, creed, religion and nationality.”

Sania Mirza at the 2009 US Open

Sania Mirza at the 2009 US Open (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About the media and Indian public initially confusing her with Sania Mirza, Indian women’s tennis icon, Nehwal responded:

“I think hard work pays. If you’re starting your career and you have a name that is similar to a celebrity, it also gives you an added advantage. She was an established player when I started and I might actually have been helped by her name in the past. Now that I too am doing some good work, people know me as Saina Nehwal and it feels good.”

What she really meant:

“What’s in a name? We’re both roses of Indian sport and how we arose. Who cares if I’m Sania Nehwal and she’s Saina Mirza? Besides, we’re both in the same racquet, aren’t we? They’re both racquet sports.”

What she definitely didn’t:

“Now if they’d only allow us badminton players to wear those cool skirts and tops like tennis players, I’d be a cool diva too.”

Sania Mirza: What she said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Sania Mirza is candidly unsporting.

What she said:

“We’re not a sporting nation, we’re a cricketing nation. We need to accept that and stop pretending to be a sporting nation.”

Sania Mirza hopes that the International Premier Tennis League inspires more people to follow tennis and take up the sport.

Mirza said:

“Leagues are becoming like a cult now. It popularises the sport. Look at what it did for kabaddi. The IPTL is going to do the same for tennis. We have some of the greatest players in the world coming and playing in the country. It’s going to be huge. To me, it’s the awareness that’s going to matter. We’re not a sporting nation, we’re a cricketing nation. We need to accept that and stop pretending to be a sporting nation. Why don’t we produce sporting stars? Well, because there’s no awareness. There’s no help. People don’t believe they can be a professional athlete, they think they can only be a cricketer. I think leagues like this help to motivate and inspire people to take up the sport. A lay man will get a chance to see Roger Federer playing live. How can you not be inspired after seeing his class?”

Mirza described her recent meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mirza said:

“I did meet him alone though, but we spoke about my sister. He remembered my sister, which was pretty amazing. I still can’t believe it. She was a pistol shooter and he was the CM of Gujarat. He met her at some event. I had no clue that he even met her. It was amazing. Anyway, at the meeting he just asked me if I was happy and if I needed assistance for anything. It’s pretty amazing for a PM because he’s trying to help and trying to change things in the country. He is motivating.”

On not playing singles any more:

“Yeah, I do miss playing singles. But I do know that it was the right decision to concentrate on doubles. You can’t fight nature. If your body is screaming every morning, you can’t be stubborn and say you are going to keep on playing and kill the body. I want to be able to walk when I’m 40. I don’t want to be in pain all the time. And it’s actually very upsetting because you wake up in the morning and you’re not able to work as much as you want to. I have a certain joint condition. I’ve had three surgeries. So yeah, at that moment it was the toughest call. I was still top-100 in the world, so it was not easy. I do miss it. But look at the bigger picture. If I was still playing singles I wouldn’t still be playing tennis any more. I’d probably be injured. It wasn’t about ‘if getting injured’, it was the question of ‘when’.”

 What she really meant:

“To repeat a cliche (ad nauseam) ‘Cricket is a religion for us Indians and cricketers our gods. Other sporting heroes are minor deities to be recalled only on festive days (days when we actually win something)’. Every young boy wants to be a cricketer and will not even consider playing another sport.”

What she definitely didn’t:

“I should have this statement emblazoned on my tee. Wouldn’t that be cool?”

 

Venus Williams: What she said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Venus Williams is a would-be danseuse.

What she said:

“I want to learn Indian dance. I’ve seen some interesting moves in the movies. I don’t know the names of the movies, but I enjoyed the steps. It would be great to get the help of an instructor. It’ll be a fun activity, and I’m looking forward to it. Who knows where that might take me.”

 

Venus Williams is looking forward to her visit to India next month where she will be participate in Vijay Amritraj’s Champions Tennis League representing her franchise Bangalore Raptors.

Feliciano Lopez, Thomas Enqvist and Ramkumar Ramanathan are her partners-in-racquets.

Venus said:

“India is always in my plans. I’ve been meaning to return after my first visit, but I didn’t get an opportunity…. Serena and I did well in the tournament; we played a great semifinal. I’m excited to be back in Bangalore again. 

Vijay’s (Amritraj) standing in Indian tennis and given all that he has achieved internationally, besides my desire to visit India again, was why I decided to play the league.

Indian tennis has great history. Sania (Mirza) had a good win in Singapore. Doubles success is not something that should be taken lightly. There will come a stage when success in doubles could translate into performances in singles.”

 

On her retirement plans:

“I definitely aim to play Rio, the 2016 Olympics.

After that, let’s see. I don’t think I can plan that far ahead. I have enjoyed this season, played a lot of good matches; got some good results. I’m getting better physically and game-wise, and my confidence is up again. I’m looking forward to 2015. I have a few things that I would like to improve in my game, my second serve for instance. Most of the goals I have in tennis at this stage are to do with skills rather than numbers.”

On the sari:

“It is one of my favourite outfits. I’ve forgotten how to tie it, though. I want to re-learn that. It’s an elegant attire, and I’d like to get a handle on how to wear it.”

What she really meant:

“Bollywood choreographed dancing seems like a great aerobic workout. What a fun way to exercise. Perhaps it’ll help me get on ‘Dancing With The Stars’.”

What she definitely didn’t:

“You think, I can be an Item Girl in ‘Dhoom 4’?”

 

 

 

Sania Mirza: What she said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Sania Mirza

What she said:

Sania Mirza feelingly quips on an earthquake north of Tokyo while at the Toray Tan Pacific Open.

Dominika Cibulkova, however, felt nothing.

“I didn’t even feel it. People were talking and I didn’t really know what was happening. But the chair umpire told me afterwards. That’s never happened to me.”

What Mirza really meant:

“The ground moved from under me and this time it was not Shoaib (Malik).”

What she definitely didn’t:

“Someone, hand me my broom please so that I can clean up this mess. All while I listen to Alanis Morrisette’s ‘Under Rug Swept’.”

Muralidharan substantiates Hashan Tillekaratne’s allegations of match-fixing (Satire)


MUTTIAH MURALITHARAN

Muttiah Muralidharan admitted that there exists more than a modicum of ‘truth’ in Hashan Tillekaratne’s allegations of match-fixing in Sri Lanka.

The legendary off-spinner stated that he ,too ,indulged in match-fixing.

“My wife and I were fixed up. It was an arranged match and I don’t see anything wrong with it. It is a Indo-Sri Lanka collaboration that has worked to our mutual benefit.” said the Tamil , with a toothy grin.

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