Sania gets wild card entry in Dubai Tennis Open

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Dubai, Feb 25 (UNI) India's tennis sensation Sania Mirza will return to action here as a wild card entry at the Dubai Tennis Open after a knee injury prevented her from playing at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships last year.

The Indian star makes a welcome return to the scene of one of her greatest triumphs, where in 2005 she stunned Russian world number seven Svetlana Kuznetsova.

''It was a rough year,'' said Mirza looking back at 2007.

''When you have surgery it's tough to come back. I was lucky that I could make that comeback. I had a great summer in America and was really playing well. In the end, it didn't turn out to be a bad year. Instead, it turned out to be a great year, probably the best year.'' she told the Gulf News.

The 21-year-old Indian star added that things have changed over the period of time and has grown as a player with all the media attention around her.

''I've learned a lot from everything and I've grown a lot as a person as well as a tennis player,'' she said. ''It is hard in the beginning (growing up in front of millions).

''You're very conscious of the way you are or what people would think, but after a point I have cameras in my face and friends say it doesn't affect me, I'm just talking normally, and it doesn't because I'm used to it now. What other choice do I have?'' The tournament will begin tomorrow and tennis stars like Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova, Nadia Petrova, Jelena Jankovic and Amelie Mauresmo will vie for honours.

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