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February 15, 2011

Sania Mirza


S. MIRZA/A. Amanmuradova
6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Sania.

Q. Good way to start off the tournament here?
SANIA MIRZA: Yeah. Well, obviously, because I played her just now in Asian Games, and we played a marathon, like three hours, you know, plus.
Obviously I knew from the word "go" that I had to play really well, because she's the kind of player I don't like to play because she has a very big serve and she's a big girl. Obviously they dominate on the serves, and that puts pressure on my serve.
But I'm happy because I returned well. It's tough. It's pretty cold out there. Also, the balls are flying a little bit over here, so it's not easy to return the serve.
So anyway, yeah, I mean, you know, for me to beat her after that match a couple months ago, so I feel good. It was a late-night match, so I'm happy to be in the next round.

Q. Are you happy with where your game is at at the moment?
SANIA MIRZA: Yeah. I've had a pretty good four, five months. Most importantly, it's been injury-free, which is the most important thing obviously for everyone, but more so for me, because I've been so injured for the last couple years. My wrist finally has stopped hurting.
I played a tournament here two months ago in December and I was playing well. Carried that forward into Australian Open. Obviously, you know, had a very tough match against Henin, and that's it.
So I feel, yeah, fitness-wise I'm at my best by - God's grace - in the last six months or so. So hopefully I can stay injury-free for the rest of the year.

Q. We have a mother who's the world No. 1. How has marriage been for you?
SANIA MIRZA: I think it's amazing for tennis to have, you know, Kim, the No. 1 in the world. Not just as a tennis player, but I think she's a great ambassador for the game and a great personality and a great person off the court as well.
Obviously that just, you know, shows that hard work and, you know, whatever else can, you know, get you anywhere, whether that's tennis or anything.
As far as I'm concerned, personally I don't know if I could do it after having a baby. You never know. Yeah, it's been almost a year since I've been married. Still don't feel married, so I guess that's a good thing. (Laughter.) I mean, we still feel like it's pretty new. We feel like it's pretty new.
He's here for a few days, so it's really good.

Q. Has being away from India and staying here, has that made any kind of difference to you on a mental level because of the kind of circus you have around you back home?
SANIA MIRZA: Not really. There is a lot of Indians and Pakistanis in Dubai as well. It's not like we're secluded or anything. You know, it's not like we're traveling so much anyway with him and me and trying to like coordinator schedules. We probably spent about a month in the last year over here.
So even though it's home, it's kind of base for us, I'm still spending quite a lot of time in India because sometimes I train there, and, you know, I have a lot of commitments other than tennis which I have to go back to India for.
You know, I like living in Dubai, honestly. I've always liked it. I've always liked Dubai for a long time, since first time I played here. I've always said it's home away from home for me. Right now it's home.
I feel very at home here. We're pretty settled down now. So, yeah, for now we're living in Dubai and we're happy.

Q. With the fitness holding up, do you feel you can set sort of a goal, say for the next six months?
SANIA MIRZA: You know, I don't want to. Every time I do set a goal I get injured. So just throws it off, doesn't it?
So, you know, my main goal is to stay injury-free. Let's say that's my main goal. I think when I stay injury-free - or anyone does - everything takes care of itself, especially when you know that you have the things to get back to where you were, or even better than what a person was.
So I hope that I stay injury-free. Because now that is that the wrist is okay, obviously tennis that's has become really, really physical now. We're playing week after week. It's not easy to stay injury-free. But that's my goal for the next six months.

Q. Was it nice to have the support behind you? Obviously the Indian and Pakistani communities in Dubai have come out to support you in a way. Attendance has been quite low, so it must be nice to have a crowd of sorts out there.
SANIA MIRZA: Yeah, Dubai has always had really good crowds. Every time I've played there's been a lot of people that come out and support. Like I just said, I mean, that's why it feels home away from home, because I feel like everyone is for me in the crowd, 90% of the crowd. So it feels really good to play.
Obviously in the beginning I had a bit of nerves playing on center court. I think I should thank the organizers as well who gave me a wild card here. I hope that I justify the wild card. I really would like to thank them for giving me this wild card.
Like I said, I enjoy playing here because of various reasons. Crowd is obviously one of them.

Q. Tomorrow's match?
SANIA MIRZA: I didn't know who I was playing. I just found out. Yeah, I played her a few years ago. I beat her, but, you know, she's been playing really well. She had a pretty good Australian Open. I think we played Fed Cup just now and she didn't lose any matches, so she's been playing well.
For me, I just have to go out there and play and play well. I think that's all you can do, is give your 100%. Right now, I just feel like, you know, I'm playing well. I have to maybe change a few strategies for tomorrow than from today because she plays very different, but we will see. I hope it will be a good match.

End of FastScripts

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