Upset Sania wonders if tennis is worth it, says Bhupathi


Melbourne : Tennis star Sania Mirza, unwittingly caught once again in a controversy over the Indian flag, is so upset that she is considering about her future.

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Even as Sania has tried to maintain her composure and avoided talking on the issue, her manager and mentor Mahesh Bhupathi said: “She is very upset, it is a major issue for her.”

Sania has been dragged into a controversy after she was pictured resting her feet with picture of Indian flag in the foreground at the courtside boxes at Perth’s Hopman Cup. A news agency photographer took the picture.

Bhupathi also said off-court distractions were hampering Sania’s preparation for the Australian Open. “It is affecting her form, it is affecting her mentally.”

The 21-year-old Sania is here preparing for the Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam event starting next week.

Talking to the newspaper, The Australian, Bhupathi added: “At the end of the day she is a 21-year-old girl trying to do her best for everyone. Everything is adding up and she is starting to wonder whether it is all worth it, but the people close to her are telling her to hang in there.”

“Not many people would know this, but I as her manager know that she turned down a six-figure sum from another event to play for her country in Perth,” Bhupathi said.

“People don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, yet they make these irresponsible and ignorant accusations. You don’t turn down big money to play in another event if you don’t love your country.”

Also slamming groups, which have been complaining against Sania, was Asian Tennis Federation chief Anil Khanna.

He said they were disruptive to both Sania and the Indian tennis. “It is most unfortunate that Sania’s name is being dragged unnecessarily from one controversy to another,” Khanna said.

“Such situations are affecting her performance and will surely have an influence on her achieving high ranking positions to qualify for the Olympics both in singles and doubles.”

A complaint filed in the Hyderabad High Court accuses Sania of showing disrespect to the national flag as her bare feet were pictured near India’s three-striped flag.