“You can’t ask for more from a tennis player than winning a Wimbledon title”
Far away from Wimbledon Centre Court, tension gripped the mother, Nasima Mirza, watching the doubles final live on TV, along with her younger daughter Anam Mirza, at their Jubilee Hills residence in the city in the early hours of Sunday.
This even as Nasima’s famous daughter was battling it out in the company of Martina Hingis from the depth of despair to stage a typical Sania fight back.
“I was keeping my fingers crossed and rushed to the balcony, away from the TV, as the scores were tied five-all in the decider. But, when the roof was pulled in on the Centre Court for the play to resume after a 10-minute break at five-all in the decider, then I had a gut feeling that Sania would win.
For she is more comfortable in indoor courts without the wind factor and I told Anam, God was kind enough and it was because of his blessings, this defining moment has dawned,” Nasima recalls.
“You can’t ask for anything more from a tennis player than winning a Wimbledon title. It was a stunning performance and we sincerely thank each and everyone who supported Sania and for all their best wishes, which resulted in this fantastic win,” remarked the proud mother.
In view of the holy month of Ramzan, there were no real celebrations – not even cake-cutting – as it is the month of fasting. “We reserve everything for a later date. The important thing is she has won another Grand Slam and a very special one too,” Nasima said.
“Yes, when she called us, we were speechless for a few moments. The feeling was yet to sink in. Then, slowly, we shared those golden moments and she was delighted at having realised one more dream,” she remarked.
Sania’s father-cum-mentor Imran Mirza chose to stay in London on Sunday to celebrate the victory in the likely company of some of the leading cricketers, including Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and the Bollywood film personalities.
Gopichand, Saina Nehwal & Jwala Gutta congratulated Sania on her win too. “I congratulate both Sania and Hingis for winning the Wimbledon. They played really well,” she said in a message to The Hindu . And Jwala Gutta tweeted: “Many congratulations for the victory, woman power… way to go.”
Badminton coach Pullela Gopichand called it a ‘fantastic achievement’. “With due respect to all other Grand Slams, Wimbledon remains a very special one. It is to tennis what All England in badminton is to badminton. So, I feel Sania has created a history of sorts with her achievements in the sport and I hope she will keep winning and inspiring young talent across India,” Gopi said.
“Many congratulatory messages poured in from President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, celebrities, friends and family members. We wish to thank every one of them for their wishes and hope Sania will continue to bring laurels to the country,” Nasima concluded. The Mirzas, while savouring every moment of this triumph, are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the champion performer on Monday.