Hyderabad: There are many similarities between Leander Paes and Sania Mirza, who won Wimbledon titles last week, legendary Martina Navratilova said here yesterday.
Sania Mirza and Martina Navratilova. Pic/PTI
"Leander and Sania, they are always trying hard. That in itself wins a lot of matches. Without that you cannot win. Few people have it consistently. So, I would say there are many parallels between Leander and Sania. They always try hard," she said at an interaction held here tonight. "First of all, it is amazing to me that Martina Hingis won both her titles with two Indians.
I mean, really. As soon as I saw that Martina (Hingis) was playing with Leander (Paes) I thought it¿s a good pick for both of them," she said. Hingis won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with Leander Paes and women's doubles title with Sania. Paes is playing great tennis though he is in his early 40s and that she had a memorable partnership playing with him, Navratilova said.
"Leander, obviously, he is 42, may be, is playing great tennis. He loves it. He has passion for the sport We played together. Each knew what¿s the other is going to do, before we actually did it. Leander is just fun to watch, great talent, probably the quickest hands in the sport. Very imaginative, again extremely passionate. So, it was a pleasure to play with him," she said.
Sania, who too had many accomplishments in her career, is not the one to give up the match without a fight, she said. "Sania and I would have made a good team as well. She makes a heck out of the ball. She knows where to put the ball, she is always very positive, no matter what. You can¿t tell her she is winning or losing by looking at her face. Because, she is always trying. It's a precious commodity," she said.
Navratilova visited the Sania Mirza Tennis Academy here during the day and interacted with some budding tennis players. Appreciating the facility set up by Sania and her family, she said the young players were very attentive and wanted to work hard. Replying to a query, she said "doubles is much more complicated than singles" with both partners requiring to complement each other.
Asked to share the mantra of her life as she has had an illustrious career, Navratilova said it is important to do what one is passionate about. "Do what you love. I love tennis. Never stop loving it. That's why I am still around it. Because, it¿s a sport that gave me a great life. If you do what you love, you will do it well to the best of your ability at whatever level.
"When I play tennis, I will try to be the best tennis player I could be. When I play hockey, I try to be the best hockey player," she said. Sport would ensure fitness, health and a sound mind, she said. Sania Mirza said it was a childhood dream for her to win the Wimbledon title and she hoped to give her best shot in the upcoming US Open.