Sania supports Paes-Bhupathi split

Mumbai: Ace tennis star Sania Mirza on Wednesday backed the decision of experienced duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi to part ways ahead of 2012 London Olympics.

The Hyderabadi felt the split of the `Indian Express` pair was justified as the duo had played together in the Olympics without much success.

"The fact is that Leander and Mahesh have played in the Olympics three times or four times and fallen short. The fact is that they might be the most experienced pair but they have come short. This is Mahesh`s view as well honestly," she told reporters during an informal chat in Mumbai.

"I think it all depends on association (AITA) and the chairman (on what to do next). I think we have to wait and watch. Eight months is a long time in a tennis player`s life. Things change. A lot of things can change. So whatever happens we will try to put our best team ahead and try to do well," she added.

Bhupathi and Paes reunited after a nine-year gap with the plan of representing India at the Olympics next year but stunningly parted ways at the end of this season.

Sania, who underwent a knee surgery after suffering an injury during the US Open, is satisfied with her recovery and said she is eyeing a comeback later this month.

"It very difficult to come back after a surgery whether big or small. It`s like beginning from the scratch all over again. I`ve been playing for two hours every day, doing fitness and other stuff. But at the end of the day it`s a surgery. I do feel occasional swelling, occasional problems.

On a bigger scale, it is good that I can do everything. I don`t have to stop in between."

"My first tournament (post-injury) begins on December 31 in New Zealand," she added.

Commenting on the demand of boycotting the Olympics because of its association with Dow Chemicals, one of its sponsors, that has bought the Union Carbide which was involved in the Bhopal Gas tragedy, Sania said she would follow the instructions given by the government over the issue.

"As athletes we will go with what the country decides. Whoever is going to decide, I`m guessing it`s the government which decides or whoever, we are with the country. At least I`m. We will support whatever decision the country takes," she said.

The 25-year-old, however, added that Olympics though important was not everything for her as a tennis player.

"As tennis players it`s tough for us to think about just one event. Of course Olympics is very important for us. It`s a very important year. We will try to give our best but it`s not like other sports where you can solely concentrate on only one event for a year, six months, nine months or ten months.

"We still have three Grand Slams to look forward to before the Olympics. As tennis players it`s equally important for us. We have to basically look into all this factors and then try to manage our schedule and our health," she added.

To a query, Sania said she did not have any views to offer on the contentious Sports Bill.

"I don`t have any views on this issue. My job is to play tennis and my focus is on my comeback. I don`t want to get into things like this. It`s between the government and sports associations. I know many sportspersons have their views on that, some for and some against it. I have met all kind of people. But I don`t actually have any view on it. My priority is to play for the country."


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