PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 16, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You just beat her, Sania, four times now out of four.
SANIA MIRZA: Is that right?
Q. Yeah. She plays you tough, but you seem to get the big
points from her.
SANIA MIRZA: Yeah, I mean, you know, she has a great
backhand, great backhand down the line, but I kind of feel
like when I stay aggressive I'm always the better player.
As soon as I try and get a little passive or try and keep
balls inside, she's very solid. Obviously she runs down
great and she puts -- in the beginning, a I think I was
getting a bit surprised by the way she was running down
those balls. But.
Played her in San Diego last. You were there. It was a tough
match even then. We always play tough matches. But, yeah,
it's about finding the way to win.
I think the last game at 5-3 I committed to my shots and I
wanted to be aggressive. I said it doesn't matter because it
doesn't matter if I miss the ball doing the right thing, but
I wanted to do the right thing and it paid off.
Q. Given that her conditioning is usually good, right,
she runs down a lot, after that first set tiebreak you
probably thought, oh, my God, I could be out here for
SANIA MIRZA: And I was.
SANIA MIRZA: I was a bit irritated with myself, because I
was fighting, fighting, the whole time, coming down, coming
back all the time, and then leveling up and then not going
up or finishing it.
Then finally I did go up one point and one set point, and I
sprayed the ball off my backhand. I think I'm happy with
myself, because of the fact that it's very hard to regain
your focus and regain everything. You know, even the nerves
and regain all that almost like you have to inspire yourself
again to fight all over again, because you've done
everything right except win that set.
So, yeah, I think that was the toughest part. But when Sven
came on the court, the only thing he said was, Just try and
take your time, because I know it's very hard to regain the
focus after losing such a tight set.
So, yeah, but, you know, I'm just happy with winning the
first set. I was playing well. I never felt like I was
playing bad tennis. It was probably going a little bit up
and down, but not as much that I thought, right, I'm just
out of this match completely.
Q. So how would you assess now the first couple months?
You got close to Jankovic in the last tournament. Weren't
able to pull it out. Close to Venus, and then today you beat
a good player, three-set match. It's positive?
SANIA MIRZA: Of course, I have been working a lot on my
fitness lately. I've been trying to get as fit as possible,
just trying to stay injury-free, and I think Shahar is one
of the fittest on the tour, if not the fittest.
It feels good that I probably could have gone on. You know,
I wasn't like dead tired, and I was still running down
balls. I wasn't feeling like I wanted to collapse on the
court, which is a very good sign for me, because I am
keeping up with the best in the fitness, which is not my
strength of area. So I think it's -- you know, it's been a
good start to the season. Yeah, I've had some very good
Last year I missed out three months around this time, and so
I think I have an advantage, because I'm going to gain on
all these points and all these extra matches, because I
didn't play last year and so I have nothing to lose.
I've had a good win today. Even the other day that I won 6-4
in the third, I mean, the conditions were very difficult. To
pull to the a match like that, I was actually pleased with
myself, because it's very hard to beat someone who's coming
out without -- coming out and has nothing to lose.
Yeah, it's been a good couple of months, and I hope I can
continue in Miami.
Q. Sounds like you're ready for a straight-set match
after these first two.
SANIA MIRZA: I'm looking forward to my day off tomorrow. I'm
playing doubles, of course. (laughter.)
So I have a day off finally, and just come out and hit an
hour, and so, yeah, I think I play Hantuchova next, and, you
know, I've played her once in Sydney a few years ago. I
haven't played her since. Yeah, I'm just looking forward to
Q. What are you going to do on your day off then?
SANIA MIRZA: It's not really a day off. We still go to the
gym or do the things that we have to. Probably not, you,
know a few hours, but at least an hour, and I'm going to
come out and hit an hour.
I don't think I need to hit any more tennis balls. I've hit
quite a few in the last three days.
Q. So you're working with Sven sort of like Ivanovic is
working with Sven. Is that a good situation, and is it
enough for you? Because it's not like you are getting his
attention all the time.
SANIA MIRZA: I actually am. I think he does a good job the
way he distributes his players, and -- I mean, I think he's
done a great job for Ana the last year or year and a half.
He's helped her a lot in her game.
I definitely, you know, we started with -- the first week
was in Doha, and then I cramped and I couldn't play anymore.
This is our second week, and, you know, I feel he has a
great temperament. He's a very experienced coach. I think
it's a great facility and a great thing that he is doing.
I don't know too many other companies doing that. Until now
I haven't felt like I didn't get the attention I needed and,
of course, I still have my dad, who is, you know, kind of
the super coach or whatever. (laughter.)
So, you know, he's around all the time, and him and Sven are
talking. He doesn't have to be there for every practice or
every warmup. It's fine if he's there for the matches and
discussing tactics and stuff.
Q. Can you talk about playing Daniela a little bit?
SANIA MIRZA: Well, I mean, she's played, she made semis at
the Aussie Open, and obviously she's playing really well.
Like I said, I think the time I met her was 2006, if I
remember correctly, in Sydney.
You know, I mean, I think I've played a couple of good
matches now. I have to go out there thinking I have nothing
to lose. You know, I'm just -- she's the seed, she's the big
player. She's also the defending champion, if I'm right.
You know, I'm -- I have to focus on what I want to do
instead of what she's going to do. And, yeah, I think if I
play like today, I remain solid, remain calm in my head,
just try and do the right thing. I mean, just have fun out
Q. How long did it take you emotionally to get over all
that was happening in January?
SANIA MIRZA: Well, it was a tough time, obviously, because
it wasn't the first time that was happening, and it's been
over the last few years that something or the other has been
coming up. But I think it was just pushed to an extent in
December and January where, yeah, I was very upset.
For me, I think that personally this is a good achievement
to be playing the way I am playing and to be beating these
players who are at the top, because, you know, I'm dealing
with a lot of things off the court, which a lot of people
are not dealing with.
I almost -- you know, I mean, I was very down in Aussie
Open, and during that period, and -- but I did come out
strongly. I think that's where your support team counts. You
know, I'm fine. I mean, I think we all go through ups and
downs mentally and physically and, you know, sometimes you
feel like why do you want to do this?
And sometimes you feel like, oh, I'm going to show everyone
and oppose all the odds and come out of this.
So it's a matter of how -- it's a matter of perspective and
it's a matter of how you look at it, I guess.
End of FastScripts