New Delhi: Juggling endorsements and inaugurations, Sania Mirza, during her whirlwind visit to New Delhi took some time out to watch and encourage youngsters. It was a chance of a lifetime for 10-year-old Sahil. The youngster was one of those who got the rare chance to interact with India's biggest teen icon. "She asked me not to be shy. I think her game can still improve a bit, even though she's such a great player," said Sahil. Playing role model The 18-year-old was quite clear that being a role model is something far more important than just winning matches. "What makes it to the newspapers is not what's big. What's more important is the love I get from you guys and hearing youngsters say, 'Sania I took to tennis and not cricket because of you'," said Sania. It was a busy day for Sania. She had to inaugurate a factory and then had to do a press conference to announce her tie up with a footwear company. Inspiring others As part of that sponsorship, Sania will lend her expertise to kids in 24 tennis academies around India. "It is now easier for players to come up. Earlier there was no infrastructure. I have myself twisted my ankle as a result of broken courts. What is good is that attitudes are also changing. But we need to be more patient, as I'm sure more players will come up," the World No 34 said. She may be just 18, but Sania Mirza is already talking about giving something back to the game. And Indian fans are certainly hoping that like Vishwanathan Anand, she can inspire a host of young world-beaters from India.
Topics : Tennis