Who after Serena Williams? Sania Mirza answers


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The women’s event of the US Open produced a magical final, between two unheralded teenagers in Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez. With a straight-set win over Leylah, Emma stunned the world to become the first-ever qualifier to win a Grand Slam title.

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza believes that the fairytale run of Emma and Leylah provided a glimpse of the depth in the women’s field. The successors to Serena Williams’ era of domination have arrived, Sania stated.

“Women’s tennis is heading in the right direction. Look at the two US Open finalists – one was a qualifier (Emma) and the other was ranked 150. The depth in the field is incredible. Everyone was asking what happens after Serena (Williams) finishes – I guess we have our answer now,” Saina said, in an interaction arranged by Sony Sports.

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Sania added that Emma’s youthful exuberance worked in her favour. “One of Emma’s biggest strength was that she is so young that she did not fully realise the magnitude of what she was achieving. She was in the zone – she couldn’t feel or see anything but the tennis ball. It shows you what pure belief can do,” Sania, 34, said.

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In the men’s section, Novak Djokovic fell just short in his quest to record a historic Grand Slam. The occasion got to the Serbian in the final, when he buried his face under a towel and wept during his defeat to Daniil Medvedev.

“Athletes are raw, emotional beings. On the court, we laugh, we scream, we get angry. You have millions of people watching, It’s incredible for people to understand that Djokovic is human. No matter how great an athlete you are, you have emotions as a human being. What he was going for (Grand Slam) was incredible. Whether he wins or not,he is one of the greatest of all time,” Sania said.

Sania weighed in on the Indian women’s cricket team’s tour of Australia, which commences with three ODIs. “Showing more live women’s cricket matches like this is the best way to increase the profile of women’s cricket. A lot of channels show repeats of men’s cricket matches; it will be nice to have live women’s action instead,” Sania said.

Watch live coverage of India women’s tour of Australia on Sony Six channels from September 21



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