The venue is Dubai Tennis Court. The crowd is excellent, and the weather amazingly cool!
5 minutes ago, Sania Mirza lost to Martina Hingis, 6-3,7-5. This is the first time I have seen her playing live. I am her biggest AC (the father of fan!!)! Obviously I am dissapointed, but not entirely, as Hingis has always been my favourite.
The first set was dominated by Hingis, except for 2 games. Once she was broken by Sania, and one where Sania held her serve. In fact, Sania held her serve only 4 times in the entire match! Sania, please work on your serve!!
The second set was even stevens, with both players losing their serves twice. It was a long set, with lots of deuces. The most crucial and one sided break came at 5-5, when Sania lost her serve. Hingis then closed out the match in the next game comfortably.
The crowd was almost entirely Indian, with people dancing, shouting and cheering just like it happens in a cricket match. No wonder Hingis said “Sorry” to the crowd after defeating Sania.
Though I have never played tennis, I can still make a few suggestions to Sania. The first and foremost is her serve. If she has to maintain (yes, maintain!) her ranking in WTA, she has to work on her first serve. There wasnt a single ace form Sania, compared to 5 from Hingis! Sania had a dismal first serve %, less than 45%. Secondly, she probably needs to shed some flab. Well she has lost some, but a bit more would surely help. She was being made to run all round the court easily by Hingis, and she couldnt pick a single drop shot!
Another place where she has to work upon is her backhand. Apart from her crosscourt shots which are deadly, her backhand is utter crap. Though she tries her best, its just not happening! Her smashing, and net play is also not upto the mark.
What saves Sania is her enthusiasm, crowd support, and her attitude, apart from her cross court shots and the much talked about forehand. But that is not enough at the international level.
Sania, you are just 19, please make us even more prouder! I know you can be a top 10 player, you just need to work harder on your game, and concentrate less on your ads.