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'She is living up to expectations'

July 06, 2003 22:23 IST

"It is absolutely thrilling and a dream come true for us," said Imran Mirza, father of Sania Mirza, who won the Wimbledon girls' doubles title alongwith Alisa Kleybanova of Russia on Sunday.

"The whole of Hyderabad, not just our family is elated over her achievement. I hope the entire country, too, is proud of her," Imran told in a telephonic chat.

"I think that she is living up to the expectations of lot of people. I hope she will continue to do so at the professional level," said the proud father.

Sania, 16, first started playing at the tender age of six. And she has had a lot of success in the junior circuit.

"She has been playing the game for the last 10 years and I think she is shaping up well," Imran Mirza said.

It was celebration time for Sania's family of three; father, mother and a younger sister at their home on Sunday night. Surprisingly, Sania's sister does not play tennis.

As a result of a tough practice schedule throughout the year and Sania had been unable to regularly attend classes.

"She has passed the 10th standard (SSC) in the first division with 63 per cent marks. Now, she is pursuing her intermediate second year. Attendance [at college] is not important for us as long as she does well in the examinations," her father explained.

The credit for her achievement at Wimbledon goes partly to her coaches C G K Bhupathi, Narendranath and Vasudev Reddy.

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad