Controversies affecting Sania's focus and performance

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Kolkata, Jan 10: AITA Secretary General Anil Khanna has said that unnecessary controversies are affecting Sania Mirza's performance at the top level.

Sania Mirza paid dearly for not taking advantage of her numerous break point chances to crash out of the Hobart International in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

''It is most unfortunate that Sania Mirza's name is being dragged unnecessarily from one controversy to the other. Such situations are seriously affecting her performance and will surely have an influence on her achieving high ranking position to qualify for the Olympics both in singles as well as doubles,'' Mr Khanna said.

''Sania is a great nationalist and has been the flag bearer of the Indian Women Team since the 2002 Asian Games. She made India proud by winning the mixed doubles Gold Medal along with Leander Paes and two Silver Medals at the Doha Asian Games. She also won for the country five Gold Medals in the Afro-Asian Games,'' he added on behalf of All India Tennis Association (AITA).

India is going to be playing the Fed Cup in Bangkok towards the end of the month and it is more important for the country to keep Sania's mind free from distractions and unnecessary controversies.

Sania is a great believer in the honour of the nation and has time and again sacrificed her personal interests to be able to compete for the nation,'' he added in a release through Globosport.

''It is unfortunate that a photograph taken during the Hopman Cup, in which Sania was representing India, has created serious misunderstanding in the minds of some people who are now taking this issue too far. Sania respects the National Flag and the interest of the nation is too close to her heart and such issues should not be pursued beyond a point in the best interest of the country,'' Khanna said.

UNI

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