Rio de Janeiro: Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza feels that there is “enough pressure” on them as elite athletes to even think of aspects like why India is yet to win an Olympic medal till the sixth day of the competition.
“I don’t feel any extra pressure. I just feel as responsible every time I step on the court, whether at the Olympics or Grand Slam. It’s very tough. If you have to win the tournament you have to win everybody. You have to hope for the best,” Sania said after she and Rohan Bopanna won their pre quarter-final match against Australians Sam Stosur and John Peers.
Queried whether the pressure of winning a medal with Indian contingent’s dismal show till now will have an effect, the multiple Grand Slam champion replied:”People follow (Olympics) it every single day and morning. As athletes, we have dealt enough pressure, point after point. We can’t think about other aspects what happened outside. Hopefully it’s going to happen and we are going to win the medal or somebody else,” the world No 1 in WTA doubles ranking said.
It’s her third Olympics and a medal which has eluded her in the two earlier editions means a world to her.
“Personally for me, it would be amazing to win a medal at the Olympics which I don’t have. It would mean the world to us. We would do whatever we can and put our best forward,” Sania said.
The Indians are set to meet British pair of Andy Murray and Heather Watson.
About the tough draw ahead, Sania said: “It was a tough match. I’ve been saying this for one year, every match will be tough in the mixed. Playing Grand Slam champions in every round. It’s great to get that win in straight sets. Anything is possible in a super tie-break.
“There’s always room for improvement no matter how good you play. I’m really hard on myself. I want to make every return, every serve and every point count. That’s the way it is.”
In their win in 73 minutes, they had a bit of struggle in the first set when Bopanna could not hold his serve after in between two breaks.
“I obviously feel we both can play better. Rohan played really well today but we both have to play better to win the next match,” she said.
Sania said it’s a big relief to get past the first round as things should fall in place now.
“First round is always tricky because you play against someone who probably don’t play regularly together. You don’t know what to expect.”
Asked whether there’s a lot of pressure on them as India are yet to open their account in medals tally she said:
“We as tennis players, people have been unfair to us saying we play individual sports. I feel we play for our country no matter where we play. We always feel like we play for India,” she concluded.