Sania Mirza might have won the hearts of tennis fans in India once again with her recent achievement, but the Wimbledon 2015 Women's Doubles winner says India lacks a system that supports tennis.
The No. 1 ranked Indo-Swiss duo of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis made history when they won the Women's doubles title on Saturday, after they came from behind to get past past No. 2 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 5-7, 7-6, (7-4), 7-5.
Sania, who started playing professional tennis at the age of 17, became the first Indian woman to lift the Wimbledon doubles title.
She also took her Grand Slam tally to four – Australian Open and French Open titles respectively in the Mixed Doubles Category with Mahesh Bhupati in 2009 and 2012 respectively, the US Open Mixed Doubles title with Bruno Soares last year and now Wimbledon Women's Doubles.
In her first press conference at her residence on Tuesday after arriving in India from England, the 28-year-old said that she was proud to come from a country that is passionate about sports, but lamented India is not a 'tennis-friendly nation'.
"I am honoured to come from a country which has such a passion for sport," said Sania. "[But] we are not the most tennis-friendly nation. We lack a system. I think we need that, and we are trying our best."
The Indian sensation also said that her success in tennis over the years has been the result of her consistent hard work, determination to win and also the result of her parents' continued support.
"I started playing when I was six, I won junior Wimbledon [Girls' Doubles with Alisa Kleybanova in 2003] when I was 16. Results won't come overnight. Everytime we enter a Slam - Me and Martina [Hingis] or Me and Bruno [Soares] – we enter it to win it.
"My parents have also been rock-solid for me from the beginning of my life and till now," said Sania.
The next stop for the Hyderabad girl is 2016 Rio Olympics, and she has her eyes firmly set on bagging a medal.
"Olympics is a long way off but we will do anything we can to win a medal there," said Sania.
However, for now, Sania is looking forward to some rest as she begins treatment for a minor foot injury she picked up after a hectic schedule in the Wimbledon 2015.
She will be taking part in a special WTA Future Stars tennis clinic on Wednesday along with tennis legend Martina Navratilova in Hyderabad. The duo will be joined by 2014 WTA Future Stars champion Karman Kaur Thandi. The event will take place at Sania's tennis academy.