New Delhi: Paes Slams Sania for Skipping Bangalore Open

Sambuddha Dutt/NDTV

New Delhi, Feb 6: Sania Mirza faces a volley of criticism over her decision to skip the Bangalore Open.

The advice may have been given to her by Mahesh Bhupathi, but now both the mentor and the protegee are being castigated for what many are calling an impulsive and incorrect decision.

Leander Paes one of the most respected voices in Indian Tennis has only joined in saying that nobody is above the game.

Mahesh Bhupathi didn't want to comment any further on the issue of Sania Mirza's pull out from the Bangalore Open.

But his former doubles partner certainly made his point.

"Celebrities in all walks of life, be it actors or sportspersons, or politicians, all have to face this kind of a thing. Controversies are always part and parcel of life when you are a public figure," said Leander Paes, non-playing captain, Davis Cup team.

"It's about what kind of dignity you handle all this with. The biggest thing for any athlete is to play for his country and for its people," he added.

Despite the endless string of controversies that have surrounded Sania's career, most former players were harsh on globosport the sports management company headed by Mahesh Bhupathi, which advised Sania to skip the Bangalore Open.

"It's a highly immature, juvennile decision that she has been advised to do. It is not a question of setting just a bad precedent. It is the fact that she's been so badly misguided," said Naresh Kumar, Former Davis Cup Captain.

However, it is not like Sania does not have support. Many can empathise with what she has been going through.

"It is not easy on the court, when you already have so many things on your mind. So you don't need these controversies when you're off the court, that doesn't help at all," said Rohan Bopanna, Sania's Hopman Cup team-mate.

Media reports have hinted that a dispute over appearance money could be a reason for Sania pulling out of India's most high profile tennis event, which will feature the Williams sisters.

The tournament organisers did not confirm or deny that they are just hoping that Sania will have a change of heart.

"Certainly hope she does reconsider. After all she must not take a decision after depending on the extreme fringe layer of people, she should get on the court and play," said Sunder Raju, Tournament Director, Bangalore Open.

Sania's decision to pull out of the Bangalore open has evoked sharp criticism, from not just the experts but from former and current players alike.

But the one point to ponder here is about the challenges in front of Indian sports persons not just is it hard to become successful in India, but it seems now you've also got to contend with numerous other challenges, once you've made it as well.


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Comment on this article

  • Alfred J. Rebello, Kundapur/Dubai

    Sat, Feb 09 2008

    I fully support Sania for her decision not to play in Bangalore. Paes says national interest should be priority for all then why he broke with Bhupathi when they were NO. 1 in the Doubles. Where his priority had gone that time. Paes, because Sania is more involved with Bhupathi in the game perhaps did not like it. More over, Paes is living in USA and Sania still in India. For me, we Indians do not deserve any sport because we change it as a commodity because of our money mindedness.

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  • Rosy, Mangalore

    Sat, Feb 09 2008

    Sania, I selute you. you are a famous personality now. Do what you want to do. Choose where you want to play. When there were problems from your own, where were these people who are asking you to play in Bangalore?

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  • Purushottama, Byndoor

    Fri, Feb 08 2008

    Sania has an unquestionable right to decide what she wants. In the meanwhile she had also been showered with huge sums of taxpayers money , had been allotted out of turn allottment of sites in preference to those waiting for years to get a site and all that. She should simply throw all these back on the face of the Governments , if she is really hurt, which could not stop or control people creating controversies about her !!!

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  • montu d'douza, Koppa/Kuwait

    Fri, Feb 08 2008

    It is the right decision Sania taken.Eventhough she held Indian flag high on several occassion,people criticised her for silly reasons.In my opinion any sports person whether he/she play in homeland or in any country doesn't make any difference as long as they make their country proud.

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  • Denzil Fernandes, dubai

    Thu, Feb 07 2008

    SHAME FOR SANIA MIRZA ! Whatever reasons Sania Mirza may come up with, it is clear that Sania is dictating terms much to the annoyance of the organisers of the Bangalore Open. While the Williams sisters from U.S.A. have agreed to come and participate, a home grown player like Sania has backed out citing so many reasons.

    As one observer remarked, Sania probably must have been demanding more for her participation in the Bangalore tennis tourney. Well, Sania should know that she has dashed the hopes of numerous Indian supporters by refusing to perform in front of them. Sania is no big player except in the Asian circuit. Her wins are few and far in between and her performances are as unpredictable as anything. So why make such a big fuss about sad Sania? Forget about her, India does not need any sports personalities who do not want to play for their country when needed.

    Sania stands to lose more by skipping the Bangalore Open. One only hopes that she has a change of mind which will do her a world of good not only for her game but also for her image especially in India.

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