India's ace tennis player Sania Mirza became the No. 1 doubles player on Sunday when she won the Family Circle Cup in Charleston with Swiss partner Martina Hingis. The duo has won three tournaments in 43 days and their win-loss record is 14-0. A remarkable feat from all aspects. [Sania Mirza becomes world No. 1 in doubles]
As an Indian, it feels great to see the 28-year-old Hyderabadi become the No. 1 in her sporting discipline, perhaps even more than when another ace Indian sportsperson Saina Nehwal becomes No. 1 in badminton, the sport she plays. The satisfaction is more in the case of Sania Mirza because her performance is not always treated justly, thanks to both sporting and unsporting reasons. [Twitter reactions after Sania Mirza becomes world No. 1 in doubles]
Wrong to compare Sania Mirza with Saina Nehwal
Sania is often compared to Saina and it is said the former creates more noise than performance. The latter is projected more as a bigger talent both by the media and the common viewers. But the reality is far from what the general perception is. And Sania Mirza shed a lot of sweat to prove that her talent is no less than anybody else. [Saina Nehwal becomes No. 1 in bandminton singles]
Sania's sport can not be compared to that of Saina
We must stop the unjust comparison between Sania and Saina for the sport the two play are vastly different in their nature. With all respect to Saina who has done each of us proud by winning memorable crowns in a field which is dominated by the Chinese and other East Asian countries, we should not forget that Sania plays a sport which is physically much more demanding.
Not easy for an Indian woman to compete with the best in a power game like tennis
It takes a huge huge heart for an Indian woman to compete with the best in a power sport like tennis and Sania Mirza has not shown any sign of a weak heart ever. People might still say that Sania has achieved in doubles what Saina has achieved in singles but we should not forget the fact that Sania's best singles ranking is 27 which she had achieved in August 2007.
Sania's sport requires enormous stamina and it makes her success more special
How many women tennis players from Asia have frequently featured in the Top 10 so far? No matter what critics think, the Asian women lag far behind than their European or American counterparts when it comes to the physical attributes that are a must to excel in tennis.
So while saluting Saina's feat, let's desist from belittling Sania.
Sania Mirza has to fight opponents outside the court as well; Saina Nehwal doesn't face such a problem
The other reason that makes Sania Mirza's achievement sweeter is that it shuts those mouths that suspect her commitment towards her country. She was seen breaking down on television after she was called Pakistan's daughter-in-law by some petty politician since she is married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. [Sania Mirza breaks down on Tv]
She had asked how many times would she be required to prove her Indianness even after winning so many honours for the country.
Very rightly asked. Does Saina Nehwal, who belongs to the majority community, ever face such a situation?
Celebrate a sportsperson's feat, do not belittle it on narrow grounds
A sportsperson's commitment should never be questioned on narrow grounds. Understand the nature of the game she plays. Do not look down on her talent by championing somebody playing some different sport. And neither question the player's commitment towards her nation. Loyalty shifts for some opportunist politician but not for a true sport personality who gives it all for the country's sake.