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Paes-Bopanna loss made it tough for India in Davis Cup Playoff: Sania 

Mumbai, Sep 21 (IANS) Tennis star Sania Mirza believes that veteran Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna’s disappointing loss in the doubles rubber made it tough for India to make a comeback in their Davis Cup World Group Playoff against Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic clinched the tie 3-1 on Sunday after Jiri Vesely defeated Yuki Bhambri 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 in almost two hours in New Delhi.

The Indian combination of veteran Paes and Bopanna disappointed, as they went down 5-7, 2-6, 2-6 in the doubles rubber on Saturday to hand the Czechs a 2-1 lead in the tie. The home team will now remain in Group 1 Asia/Oceania of the tournament.

“It was a tough loss I can say. It was a tough match yesterday for Paes and Bopanna. We expected them to win the match. But it didn’t happen. But these are a part of sport. But I think Czech was always a tough team to beat. Even though we were at home and they came here and defeated us,” Sania, who was conferred with honorary lifetime membership of the Cricket Club of India (CCI) on Sunday, told reporters here.

“They had Radek Stepanek. We always knew it is going to be a tough match against the visiting side. But we have to move on and look ahead what is coming,” she said.

Speaking on her Swiss doubles partner Martina Hingis, the women’s doubles World No. 1 said, “We really have a good chemistry between us. It all started this year the Wimbledon when we both fought hard and went on to win tough matches and finally the Championship. We understand each other pretty well now and hope to bring and win ore titles in days to come.”

The duo won the women’s doubles title at the Wimbledon, followed by US Open recently.

“Thank you so much for the honorary lifetime membership. I feel proud to represent India at this level. I also feel proud to deliver and bring laurels for my country and hold the tri-colour high,” she said.

When asked if she had ever thought she would be ranked World No.1 , the Padma Shri and Arjuna Award winner said, “Who doesn’t want to be world No.1. I wanted to change my goals as time came close and wanted to chase them up. There are some dreams which you achieve and there are some which you can’t.”

“I am lucky and fortunate to reach the summit and it is surely a dream come true for me indeed. I am happy that my body is helping me to go ahead. I was never No. 1 in college, now I am World No. 1. It is a dream for anyone to be in the position I am in today, so I think I am proud,” she added.

The 28-year-old said that she would have surely been a cricketer if she was born as a boy.

“If I was a boy, I would have to be a cricketer. I have cricket in my blood. My dad, uncle used to play cricket and now my husband is a cricketer. I have played a few tournaments and matches in the past here. So I look forward to come to this historic club and practice sometimes both tennis and sometimes cricket as well,” Sania concluded.

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