Sania Mirza and Coco Vandeweghe lost their R1 match. They started strong winning the first set 6-4 but then lost the next two sets 4-6 3-6 to the 12th seeds Raluca Olaru from Romania and Nadiia Kichenok from Ukraine. They were given wildcard entry in this year’s US Open. In this interview, Sania talks about the match and the state of Indian tennis.

Q) Can you share some thoughts on the match ? What went well and what were the turning points specially after winning the first set ?

The court is playing pretty fast and it was important that we held our serve and were unlucky to get broken after breaking them back and the momentum kind of shifted there. They were a tough team and they have been playing together all year and we haven’t so it is never an easy draw to play such a team in the first round. It was a good match. We had our chances and we didn’t take them.

Sania Mirza and CoCo Vandeweghe return a shot during a Women’s Doubles match at the 2021 US Open, Thursday, Sep. 2, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Mike Lawrence/USTA)

Q) How did this partnership with Coco come about ? Do you plan on continuing to play with her ?

For now, we don’t know our schedules. I am playing WTA1000 Indian Wells and WTA500 Chicago with Zhang Shuai.

Sania Mirza and CoCo Vandeweghe talk during a Women’s Doubles match at the 2021 US Open, Thursday, Sep. 2, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Mike Lawrence/USTA)

Q) Your thoughts on the state of Indian women tennis. We haven’t seen anyone excel in singles the level that which you had played in the past. What do we really need to do as a country to achieve the greats that you you’ve done in the past ?

I wish it was as easy as an answer to a question. It’s not that simple. There are a lot of things that go into it. The infrastructure is still obviously missing, even though it’s a lot better but the system is missing that needs to produce tennis players on an yearly basis. There is still a lot of issue with the backing financially and the correct kind of coaching at the right time. Maybe the players are getting the coaching, I mean Sumit is one of them who has been out in Europe and he is getting the right kind of coaching. You do see certain results from him but Karman has been doing that but you are not seeing those results. There is no one solution to that problem. There are multiple issues there. It’s not a magic box where if you fix this then you’ll have a top 30 singles player so it’s not as simple as that.

Sania Mirza and CoCo Vandeweghe high five during a Women’s Doubles match at the 2021 US Open, Thursday, Sep. 2, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Mike Lawrence/USTA)

Q) What aspects of doubles tennis do you like ? You’ve had incredible partnerships over the years. What’s with doubles that you really enjoy ?

The fact that I was very good at it. I do believe that I have played at the highest level in doubles with/against multiple grand slam champions. I feel like I have learnt so much from it but I like the whole partnership aspect of it. I like the fact that there is chemistry involved and there is actual trust involved with your partner and that is very different than the individual sort of when you’re alone on the court. I feel that I understand the doubles game pretty well on the court. When you’re good at something, you obviously enjoy it.

Sania Mirza serves during a Women’s Doubles match at the 2021 US Open, Thursday, Sep. 2, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Mike Lawrence/USTA)

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