Having ended a successful year with victory in the WTA Tour Finals, Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza has set her sights on becoming the doubles world number one next season.
"That's pretty amazing. People expect that much of me and wish so much for me. Like I said, I am getting closer to my goal which is to try and be number one in the world. I got a Slam this year, won the Championships.
"That’s one of my goals. So, I will try and be number one. Hopefully, that will happen next year," she told reporters in Hyderabad.
Sania won the prestigious WTA Tour doubles title with Zimbabwean Cara Black in Singapore, a mixed doubles title at the US Open besides winning the mixed doubles gold at the Asian Games.
She said the year has been "incredible" for her.
"To finish off the season like this, it’s good. Basically, I achieved what any tennis player wants to achieve in a year, win a Slam, win a gold medal and win the year-end Championships. It has been an incredible year for me.
"Especially, to finish off the partnership (with Black) this way, on such a high, winning the way we did in the final. It has been pretty amazing," she said. She said the secret of her success is hard work and nothing else.
"There is no secret, unfortunately. You have to work. You have to keep working. As long as you keep working, it will come. It does not happen overnight as people think and hope that it happens. It has been a long career for me.
"I have been doing it for 21 years of my life. I cannot think of doing any thing else at least at this point of time. When you are down, you have to work even harder. That’s when you come through,” she said.
Replying to a query, she said she felt great when Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated her on her win.
"He is an extremely dynamic personality. He is a great leader. I met him twice now. He tweeted to me a few times which is very exciting.
"Whenever I win, he is extremely encouraging. I think that is amazing for a Prime Minister to take notice of an athlete and encourage them," she said.
Asked about the controversy she went through following a Tongans BJP leader’s reported comments about being married to Pakistani, she said the controversies only made her tougher.