It’s Saina (not Sania)…

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June 23rd, 2009 Joydeep Ghosh

Disclaimer: Yes, I agree that Sania Mirza has done wonders for Indian Women’s Tennis.
But the comparison ends there.

I have a rather bad habit. Before going to sleep, I watch news. Sometimes, it’s a business channel (yuck to many), but mostly normal tamasha on news channels.
Yesterday, there was real tamasha. Some channels went quite gaga over Saina Nehwal’s super series win and Sania Mirza’s first round win in Wimbledon.
And while I am quite fine with the hoopla around Mirza, I am quite surprised with the lack of bandwidth for Nehwal.
In the last few years, Nehwal has consistently done well. Yet, for one tournament she was hassled for a visa (she rightly said that a cricketer wouldn’t have faced any hassles).
In fact, in this T-20 nonsense, I wonder if anyone even knew that Nehwal was quietly winning match-after-match.
In comparison, Mirza has to win one single match to be in the headlines. While I believe that Mirza has done wonders for Indian Women’s Tennis, but it’s simply as an ambassador. As a player, she has a long way to go.
At the age of 18-19, she had promise. At 22-23, she is still someone with promise. In singles, she hasn’t been in the quarter-finals of any of the Grand Slams.
But I guess tennis has more glamour than badminton. Everyone remembers Anna Kournikova…some, perhaps, even more than Chris Evert or Bille Jean King.
And someone may even argue that tennis is a more inclusive sport. Badminton is, after all, mostly an Asian sport. And the top ten have a lot of Chinese players and sometimes, a few Danish players.
For an Indian to break into the league is mighty impressive. If Nehwal’s coach is to be believed, she will be ranked sixth in the world after the recent win – in tennis, only
Ramanathan Krishnan was seeded fourth in the 1961 Wimbledon…
Sadly, talent and performance seldom gets reflected in television or newspaper coverage. Glamour, it would seem, works wonders.

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11 Responses to “It’s Saina (not Sania)…”

  1. amit malpani Says:

    Its not all about Cricket ,Tennis or Badminton..its all about the acceptance.Cricket we are having in our blood.Every street you will find three lines (by charcoal) on a wall or a board used for wickets and any shape flat wood pole used for Bat .People like what they can relate to themselves,where they can picture themselves.We have never played badminton in our life and if all of a sudden you ask to like it,go crazy for it,just because indian representataive is winning at international level……..its not going to work .We can saw children playing cricket in villages,towns,urban areas ,in streets,in garden,in home,at ground…..but we rarely see children playing other sports with such intensity..Thats the only reason that our sport persons,other than cricket , are not getting the lime light ,as deserved by them.

    So we should avoid this blame game.

  2. Puja Bhat Says:

    This is really beautiful blog post.

    Thank You

  3. Guha Rajan Says:

    Good post. Its known fact, that Cricket get bigger coverage compared to other sport and I believe the coverage will grow with introduction of T20.

    Since, its a business magazine thought of sharing my blog writing about T20 :-)

  4. Priyanka Says:


    very nice blog post what a blog post very very nice

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  6. Indianairtickets Says:

    very good blog post

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    very good blog post

  8. Ruchi Says:

    Some people are experts in beautiful write ups
    but execution skills is zero but i say very good blog post

  9. prav Says:

    cmon, this is a business newspaper. you guys surely dont realize that saina fails the market test. all kudos to her for her badminton skills and athletic prowess. it doesnt necessarily follow that the money will follow her.
    money is spent on cricket and sania because indians love to watch cricket on tv (international cricket only).we arent real cricket lovers -if you have seen ranji matches,the turnout and sponsorship is minimal. we want stars and entertainment.we arent paying for athleticism or sporting achievement per is entertainment that we crave.

    if you love badminton,please put your money where your mouth is. ie watch more baddy on tv .maybe the TAM tv ratings will get the message

  10. Gopichand Says:

    I deffinetly agree with whatever has been present on this blog. Sania Nver crossed 25 in her singles ranking where as saina at present ranked 7 in the world. What is the bandwidth saina is getting on news papers when compared to sania or nay of these hyped cricketers. If our country wants to see continious sainas or bindrasin any other game the media should think twice of what they are doing at present. Our corporates and governments should think many more times. If not once again India may have to wait for decaeds to have one more Saina.

    What SAINA achieved is undoubtly deserves much more than what she is getting today. Hat’s OFF to Saina and hope she will continue to do the good job in future also.

  11. Subhankar Says:

    By coincidence, I wrote about the travesty of cricket and a Saina vs. Sania piece in my blog yesterday. Your point about tennis being a more widely followed sport than badminton is apt. But it is a tragedy that Dhoni and Sania Mirza are better known and better paid in spite of being arguably lesser talents than Saina Nehwal and Abhinav Bindra.


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