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Home > Sports > Tennis > Australian Open 2008 > Reuters > Report

I proved I am strong: Sania

January 17, 2008 11:07 IST

Sania Mirza [Images] showed she is putting the controversy that haunted her Australian Open preparations well behind her on Thursday as she battled to the third round in Melbourne.

The 21-year-old overcame Swiss qualifier Timea Bacsinszky 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 to reach the last 32 and a match against Venus Williams, and said she is proud she had been able to focus on her tennis.

"I am very pleased by winning a match like this today because a lot has been happening in the last couple of weeks off the court," Sania said.

  • Sania considered quitting over flag row
  • "I was down 3-1 30-30 [in the third set] and I could have said I was just mentally not there -- it would have been a good excuse -- but I proved I am strong and hopefully I can continue to do that."

    Sania is the subject of a court summons in Bhopal after a private citizen made a complaint under the country's Prevention of Insult to the National Honour Act.

    The controversy surrounds a photograph taken at the Hopman Cup mixed team event in Perth, played at the beginning of the year, that appeared to show Sania's bare feet resting near the national flag.

    Sania said she is looking forward to a meeting with Williams, having played her sister, Serena, at the same stage in Melbourne three years ago, when she became the first Indian woman to reach the third round of a Grand Slam event.

    "I am very excited to play Venus," she said.

    "I have nothing to lose and feel like I am playing well. I want to try to get a good start."

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