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Sania overhyped? September 6, 2006

Posted by sk in Blogroll, Miscellaneous, National, Sports, Tennis.
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Sachin claims that Sania has been getting too much attention from the media and has done little during the last few months to justify it. He links to an article on Rediff that discusses her shopping in NYC after she crashed out of the US Open to validate his claim. Not validate, actually, but you get the point, right? This person is of the same opinion. Here’s Sania’s profile on Yahoo! Sports. It’s pretty obvious that she hasn’t accomplished much this year. In fact, I’m pretty sure if she continues playing this way, she’s soon going to be out of the top 100s. Sachin (I really don’t know this guy, although I refer to him as if he were my childhood friend) further goes on to say that Sania should spend more time  on training and less on her PR activities. Further, she should build some muscle mass if she wants to stay competetive at the highest level. It’s not the end of the road for her. She’s still in her teens (I think) and has a long way to go. And of course, nothing can change the fact that she has already achieved more during her short career than any Indian female tennis player ever has. That in itself is a huge achievement. I haven’t seen her in action yet, but my friends who have say she’s extremely slow on court and doesn’t posess what it takes to win major championships. What do you think? By the way, I still need a good pic for this blog. Can someone help me out with this? Anything related to Sania is fine. Even a pic from Maria Sharapova’s Sports Illustrated photoshoot. On second thoughts, I’d prefer a pic of Maria’s. [Update (9/7/06 – Found an image on the web]

UPDATE (9/9/2006): By the way, the more I think about it, the more I feel Sania is turning into India’s very own Anna Kournikova (though not as hot as the latter). Maria Sharapova just won her first US Open and second Grand Slam title today by beating Justine Henin in straight sets. She’s been to the semi-finals of Grand Slam events 7 times and the two times that she managed to reach the finals, she’s won. She’s one player who’s managed to perfectly balance her social life with her professional life. Why can’t Sania take a few lessons from her? Actually, Anna should probably be the one taking lessons from her. She was pretty talented and if she had concentrated on her game, I’m sure she’d have won a WTA tournament (maybe not a Grand Slam tournament, but something).

Related reading: Oops! She does it again.

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Comments»

1. sachinsucks - September 7, 2006

There was a time when there was some news about Sania almost on a daily basis. She would either be opening new showrooms or issuing statements (about pre-marital sex, etc.) and then retracting them. I wonder how she found the time to practice during this period. I guess she didn’t and it shows in her performances.

2. sachinsucks - September 7, 2006

Oh, and by the way, loved your comments on the vande mataram article on this site, esp. the one about making Anu Malik’s song the national anthem, etc.

3. tismarkhan - September 7, 2006

Sachin Sucks..(oh I am just referring to his pen name) is partly right.
Although I feel she did her share of promoting the sport in the country..
I agree she earned money and media attention rather disproportional to her sporting talent as compaed to Leander and Mahesh, but again they did not have a well endowed figure.

Her shopping spree is her business. She has money, she is spending it. Her comments on pre-marital sex as much as I followed the story were indeed skewed by media. I do not think she ‘retracted’ any thing. Not it matters in this discussion.

Yes, I agree she is over hyped (I have been saying that since she first made it to papers) and her extreme media attention would contribute to dip in her rankings, but I think thats her life…!

Media shows what we want to see. So her over-hype is also a result of what ordinary people in India wants in their daily life.

4. sachinsucks - September 7, 2006

Yes, her shopping spree is her business. I’m just amused that rediff would dedicate so much time and space to that effort of her’s. I provided the link only to prove my point about Sania getting so much media attention. She has the right to do anything she wants with her life, for that matter. She can simply stop training one day – her wish. YEs, that’s her life. She can do whatever she wants with it. That doesn’t mean no one can comment on it or shrug off her bad performances by saying, “It’s her life.” No. She’s a media darling and in order to justify all this media attention etc. she needs to work more on her game and less on her PR activities. I don’t think what I said was wrong.

5. sachinsucks - September 7, 2006

“So her over-hype is also a result of what ordinary people in India wants in their daily life.”

Well, nothing changes the fact that she has achieved more during her career than any Indian female tennis player. In that sense, I think the hype she has been receiving is good for the future of the game in our country. Moreover, she’s kinda cute – which adds to her charm. A good looking player will always receive more attention than a more talented, not-so-good-looking one (Anna Kournikova and MAria Sharapova vs. Justine Henin and Amelie Mauresmo) – that’s how this system works everywhere in the world. Annika is an extremely talented and accomplished player but guess who receives all the media attention? That’s right, Michelle Wie – the Hawaiian phenom. Some players are able to live up to the hype (like Sachin). Others simply fade away (like Anna Kournikova). I just hope Sania being the only female tennis player to have received this kind of attention, manages to live up to it.

6. -sk- - September 7, 2006

“Oh, and by the way, loved your comments on the vande mataram article on this site, esp. the one about making Anu Malik’s song the national anthem, etc.”

Thank you! No one has ever said that to me. You’re my new hero!!!

Regarding Sania, the media can both make and break a player. Sania is to a great extent, a media-made sensation. If she doesn’t step up her performances, I don’t think the media is going to have any problem dumping her too. The question is, does she have it in her. I would think so. With the right training and attitude, she could still excel.

7. planetsk - September 7, 2006

You know what I was thinking of blogging on this Sania thing..but anyway,

“Padma Shri” Sania is definitely over-hyped..reaching 4th round of US open last year was her biggest achievement..and i thought getting some sorta award like “padma shri” would brighten her career but it back fired..i dont know why our Govt. honored her so early in her career..

China is putting lot of efforts in Sports esp. Tennis and it seems its booming economy is one of the factors that motivated China to get into sports..( i guess Indian Govt.is also minting money on this boom )..so,the deal is Chinese Govt. will train and sponsor athletes for Tennis Tournaments and the Govt. will have a share of prize money..when not-so-physically strong chinese can get into an individual sport like Tennis why not our Indian Govt. do something similar..not just tennis but many other sports..

Sania has got great talent for her age but is it complacency (with prize money close to half a million) or lack of motivation that got into her?? Hopefully,she plays more tennis than posing for photographs..

Has anyone seen Roddick’s game last night..whether or not you like Roddick…he’s playing great after recent pathetic performances…

Tennis is a beautiful sport that can have less politics and more money..I think Sania knows it..and we should get to see more of her on the court rather than just a one-hit wonder..

PS:From Wikipedia
Hackles have been raised in some quarters supposedly due to her attire not being in line with her Muslim background. According to one report published September 8, 2005[1], an unnamed religious scholar had issued a fatwa, saying that her attire is contrary to what is permitted by Islam.

India will ROCK..

8. -sk- - September 7, 2006

Ahhh. Didn’t realize that she was awarded the Padma Shri.

“Sania has got great talent for her age but is it complacency (with prize money close to half a million) or lack of motivation that got into her?? Hopefully,she plays more tennis than posing for photographs..”

I agree.

“Has anyone seen Roddick’s game last night..whether or not you like Roddick…he’s playing great after recent pathetic performances…”

I didn’t watch the game but heard that he was great. Now with Nadal out, does he have it in him to beat Federer, though (if they meet, that is)?

9. planetsk - September 7, 2006

Yeah, looks like Roddick with his new mentor Jimmy Connors..has the “thing” in him to beat Federer..but..Federed should win..:) Tonight’s game will be interesting Blake (“american”) against Roger…

10. -sk- - September 7, 2006

“PS:From Wikipedia
Hackles have been raised in some quarters supposedly due to her attire not being in line with her Muslim background. According to one report published September 8, 2005[1], an unnamed religious scholar had issued a fatwa, saying that her attire is contrary to what is permitted by Islam.

India will ROCK.. ”

lol. That’s funny. I’d like to see Sania play tennis in a burkha. I think she should.

11. -sk- - September 7, 2006

Federer doesn’t have a great serve. He’s not a serve-and-volleyer and yet he manages to win tournaments. He’s a treat to watch, though.

12. ashutosh - September 7, 2006

Well since I am in the group and have been reading so much stuff off late, I think I should chip in too. What better place to share my thoughts other than in a sports article. Anyways..

Regarding Sania, I havent seen her play but I based on her record and her ranking, I dont think she is over hyped by indian sport standards. And I dont see any reason why these reporters are running articles condemning her shopping sprees with her recent debacles in tennis. Has this not been happening is cricket all along. Win two series in India and you are the greatest team ever, serious threat to Aussie, next world champ beaters etc and after west indies trip, team bashing. The reason it has features in blog is because its not cricket, thats about all.

Regarding the Roddick’s match, I have seen it yesterday and its pretty amazing how he has been serving. There was one rally which lasted 29 shots, thats was quite great too. Most of his game is concentrated around his serves and he returns decently to hang in there and wait for the opponent to make mistakes. All his opponents have made more unforced errors than winners. Last yr-yr&hlf, he had been caught short on confidence and mental toughness and I guess Connors helped him with that and a couple of other shots. He is a stylish player too.

However, I doubt if he has a game to challenge Federer. Federer is too perfect player betweent the two. His range of shots is amazing, quite fast on the court and with the thought of not having to face Nadal, he is almost invincible. That actually makes him quite boring to watch. It would rather take Federer mistakes along with super serves for him to win.

13. sachin - September 7, 2006

“Regarding Sania, I havent seen her play but I based on her record and her ranking, I dont think she is over hyped by indian sport standards. And I dont see any reason why these reporters are running articles condemning her shopping sprees with her recent debacles in tennis.”

As I pointed out, the media praised her to the skies after she performed well in a couple of tournaments. If her bad run continues, they will have no problem in dumping her like she was yesterday’s news.

14. sk - September 7, 2006

“Regarding Sania, I havent seen her play but I based on her record and her ranking, I dont think she is over hyped by indian sport standards.”

I don’t think she is either – especially considering that she is the only decently ranked tennis player from India at the moment.

“As I pointed out, the media praised her to the skies after she performed well in a couple of tournaments. If her bad run continues, they will have no problem in dumping her like she was yesterday’s news.”

I agree!

15. tismarkhan - September 7, 2006

oh so you finally got a pic..

sacinsucks..I never said you were wrong and I surely did not say you cannot comment on sania..! thats what blogging is all about, comment on anyone as you like it..!

My only point is if we both agree media gave little more attention to sania than she deserves, then should not we blame media rather than sania..why would she complain?

-sk- and dillitante, I understand you do not think sania is overhyped. Its true in a way. My only definition of over hype is that things other than her sporting talent contributed to her being media darling. One of them is her well endowed figure and not so bad looks. As sachinsucks says, maria and justin are treated differently by media because the way they look..!!

16. sachin - September 8, 2006

She has no reason to complain now and if she doesn’t step up her game, she shouldn’t complain when people would have forgotten all about her.

17. Sania drops in rankings « … And on the fourth day - September 11, 2006

[…] I received some flak from these people when I said Sania should work on her game more. I guess she does need to improve her on-court speed and power. I’d like to see people concentrating on her game more than her shopping sprees. […]


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