Sania hopes to play in Dubai Open

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Upcoming tennis star Sania Mirza is concentrating only on resting her injured ankle to avoid any "long-term" injury.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
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New Delhi:

Upcoming tennis star Sania Mirza is concentrating only on resting her injured ankle to avoid any "long-term" injury. "I have set a goal of breaking into the top 50 by the end of the year and I think it is achievable. But right now my priority is to give ample rest to my ankle as I don't want a long term injury," Sania told reporters. "My ankle is feeling better now. But I have not been practicing after the Hyderabad Open. I hope I recover before the Dubai Open (starting on February 28)." Part of the game The 18-year-old, who met Sports Minister Sunil Dutt at his office this morning, also made light of her playing with painkillers during the Hyderabad Open, saying injuries were part and parcel of a sportsperson's life. "Though playing with painkillers is not a very good thing, we have to get used to it as injuries are part and parcel of any sportsperson's life. Give me any top five player who plays without injury." Sania said she was looking forward to playing in yet another Grand Slam but was quick to point out that there were many events in between where she would have to make a mark. Cricket craze Asked whether the emergence of players like her and Narain Karthikeyan could divert attention from cricket in the country, Sania replied in the negative and said even she followed the game very keenly. "Cricket is like a religion in India. It is not going to change. In fact, I am myself a great cricket fan and don't leave an opportunity to watch a cricket match. Sachin is my favourite." The Sports Minister gifted Sania two books based on letters written by former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Indira to each other from 1922 to 1964. He also hoped that Sania, who was accompanied by her parents and younger sister Anam, would bring more laurels for her family and the country in future. (PTI)

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