Serena probably greatest: Sania
India's tennis ace Sania Mirza feels Serena Williams is apparently the best women player to grace the sport and despite Tuesday's Fed Cup loss on the stalwart's return post giving birth to a child, she will be running the show again.
"Serena will be back and she is probably the greatest tennis player we ever had but will she be back at her best is something we don't know," said the 31-year-old tennis star at the sideline of the launch of the Max Bupa Life Insurance's GoActive, here on Wednesday. "I hope so Serena does that and it would be incredible to see her do that again after giving birth to a child and long absence."
Mirza thinks apart from Serena's dominance at the top, women's tennis is exalted with competitive talent at the top and there can't be a monopoly.
"Besides Serena, I think there has never been a monopoly in women's tennis. If Serena losses then it is anybody's title. It's not like in men's tennis where the top 4 — or top 5 if you consider (Stanislas) Wawrinka in there — dominates the whole scene. Last year (Rafael) Nadal and Roger (Federer) took everything, which is more of a monopoly to me. But women's tennis has enormous depth which is why a 100th-ranked player can beat the number two or a person whom you seldom heard of may win the Slam. (Caroline) Wozniacki has been at it for a while now; she should have won before but she couldn't and she finally did (Australian Open)," she said.
Mirza praised fellow country woman Ankita Raina for churning out victories against higher-ranked counterparts — Lin Zhu of China and Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan — for a losing cause in the Fed Cup.
"It is really encouraging to see Ankita have those couple of wins over top 100 players. Even though they ended up on the losing side at the end of the tie, you still have to take the small positives out of it. I have been asked this question for many years now that who is going to be the next Sania and I have always said we should always aim for someone better than Sania. And we have always comeback empty. In that sense, this generation is the next of best young girls," she said.
Battling with a knee injury, Mirza has been sidelined from the court since October 2017 and revealed there is no set date for her return, which also stalls her search for a new partner for Roland Garros 2018.
"Right now, I am not really looking for a partner because I don't really have a time frame right now (for my return). Seeing at my progress in the last three months, hopefully I will be back in a couple of months but I don't have a fix date. I am taking every day as a sort of a battle of patience and recovery. French Open is still at the back of my mind and hopefully I would be back for it," she stated.
Speaking about her association with the Max Bupa Health Insurance's GoActive, Sania said: "People at young age often ignore health insurance because they believe they are invincible to injuries or chronic diseases, which is a wrong assumption. Hence, GoActive is ideal for them."
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