Bangalore Open: Paes slams Sania

Tennis player Sania Mirza faces a volley of criticism over her decision to skip the Bangalore Open. However, many empathise with her.

updated: February 11, 2008 11:55 IST
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New Delhi:

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.