Olympic medal next target: Sania
Indian tennis ace, Sania Mirza,fresh out of her French Open title is now gunning for the Olympics.
Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who Thursday won her maiden French Open mixed doubles title with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi, said an Olympic medal is their next target but lamented that deciding the pairing is not in their control.
"Olympics is something we have all dreamt about as athletes and we want to win a medal there but a lot of things are not in our control," said Sania.
The French Open win, however, may prompt the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to field the same pair in the 2012 London Games and not disturb the combination.
Sania said if the same pair is fielded in the London Games, they would give their best to give India its second Olympic medal from tennis.
Leander Paes, who is also a strong contender to team up with Sania, had given the country its first Olympic tennis medal, a singles bronze, in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
"If we do get that opportunity we are going to give whatever we have to get that medal," Sania was quoted as saying by TV channels.
Mahesh also concurred with Sania and said "for us the train hasn't really stopped".
"We're off on the grass courts season tomorrow. She's going to Birmingham; I am going to Queen's club. It's going to be a long grass courts season because the Olympics is on grass as well. We're playing well. We're looking forward to playing together and if we get that opportunity to play the Olympics together, hopefully we'll be able to fire like we did this week and contend for a medal," said.
Sania said there is not much time to celebrate since they have to make a quick transition from clay to grass.
"I have to keep the rhythm going and hopefully we can win a few more slams. And if we go to the Olympics and make it there - obviously try to win a medal there," said Sania.
Sania said the second Grand Slam title with Bhupathi was special since it came on her team mates birthday.
"Every grand slam is as special as the other. The first one was very special for its own reasons and this was special as it was on my least favourite surface and it comes on Mahesh's birthday," Sania said.
Sania said winning the title after a poor start gave her immense satisfaction.
"Fortunately for us things can turn around and this is a great example of it. You have to go out and fight everyday. We had an unfortunate start and we were disappointed. We encouraged each other and inspired each other to do better in the mixed and here we are two weeks later having won the slam," Sania said.
Sania praised her opponents saying they were a tough nuts to crack in the final.
"They were here because they beat some great teams including Leander and Vesnina in the semis and we knew we had to play well to beat them. Fortunately we had the experience of playing in some finals before and Mahesh has won so many slams before so we are just happy to keep the level up for the last two weeks especially because we had a disappointing start to the tournament but we are glad to bounce back," she said.
Bhupathi said he still experiences the same feeling after a major win.
"It is amazing. It still has not sunk in. I could not have asked for a better present from my partner. Fifteen years later the excitement is still the same when you win a title and we are working hard so hopefully it will continue.
"We were really disappointed in the beginning of the tournament. We turned it around well and kept it going and winning this title makes it a lot more special," he said.