Tennis: Sania says no to Aisam

Published: April 25, 2012
Indian tennis star happy with Bhupathi as doubles partner. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Indian tennis star happy with Bhupathi as doubles partner. PHOTO: AFP/FILE


Sania Mirza has refused to partner Aisamul Haq Qureshi on the court despite the Pakistani expressing his interest to play alongside the Indian tennis star several times in the past.

Sania, wife of former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik, is currently partnering India’s Mahesh Bhupathi who is ranked 15th in the doubles rankings, a place behind Aisam. The Pakistani, who split up with India’s Rohan Bhopana end of last year, is now playing limited mixed doubles events, partnering Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova on the court.

“I’m playing quite well with Bhupathi in grand slams so I don’t think I need to change anything right now,” Sania, who is ranked eighth in doubles world rankings, told The Express Tribune from Stuttgart. “We’ll partner each other in grand slams and playing with Aisam right now is not possible.”

Sania rules out playing in Pakistan for now

The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) was also keen on bringing Sania onto a tennis court in Pakistan on her various tours of the country. The federation had also hoped for exhibition matches as well as short training sessions that the Indian could be part of. Sania, however, ruled that out too, citing the complete absence of international tournaments in Pakistan.

“I haven’t asked for a huge paycheque in order to feature in charity matches in Pakistan. But as far as competitive matches are concerned, there are, unfortunately, no international tournaments taking place in Pakistan for obvious reasons so there’s no chance I can play there.”

There was another setback for Sania’s fans in Pakistan as the tennis star, who is currently writing a book on her career and the important phases of her life, also ruled out a visit to the country in the near future citing a busy schedule, especially with the 2012 Olympics just over three months away.

Given up singles for doubles: Sania

Meanwhile, Sania confirmed that she has given up playing singles after undergoing her third surgery in the last five years.

“Tennis, and the surgeries, takes a lot out of you. I realised at the start of the year that, keeping my physical state in mind, it was impossible for me to pursue a singles and doubles career. Ever since I’ve given up on my singles career, my performance in doubles matches has been really good. I even reached a career-best seventh in the world and that’s why I’ve decided to concentrate solely on doubles tennis.”

Sania needs to stay in the top-10 by the June 11 cut-off date in order to be eligible for the Olympics and considering she is the only Indian female tennis player in the top-300, she is ‘ready to give it her all despite it being a very difficult task’.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • max
    Apr 25, 2012 - 1:16AM

    good for aisam honestly. sania sucks bad.


  • tamilian
    Apr 25, 2012 - 1:31AM

    Not a good decision.. Should respect Husband’s home country at least… Will feel one day..


  • Imran Mohammad
    Apr 25, 2012 - 1:43AM

    Another slap to over-zealous Pakistani fans of Indian stars. We, Pakistanis, never learn!!!!


  • Xcaret
    Apr 25, 2012 - 4:50AM

    Sania, how can you say no to your DEVAR?


  • Tabish Bilgrami
    Apr 25, 2012 - 9:47AM


  • Indian
    Apr 25, 2012 - 10:21AM

    why don’t we let her decide about her life rather than meddling. Get a life guys!


  • Raja
    Apr 25, 2012 - 11:16AM

    Sania is not the player she was once.


  • Frank
    Apr 25, 2012 - 11:18AM

    take it light guys


  • Saad
    Apr 25, 2012 - 4:06PM

    She said yes to Malik! That’s all that counts !


  • Babloo
    Apr 25, 2012 - 4:22PM

    Sania seems to be living in India. Where does Shoaib Malik live ? Is he out of the picture ?


  • Pakistani
    Apr 25, 2012 - 4:41PM

    Aisam > Sania (in all aspects)
    And Im not saying that just after reading this article.


  • Asma
    Apr 25, 2012 - 4:58PM

    Sania made a sensible decision. She has a vision, a foresight. If she’s not comfortable with patnering with Aisam, it’s alright. If they win, all will be glorious and if they lose, there is going to be a serious blame game.

    Tennis is her passion & her career and she has every right to make decisions for her/ her life. If her loved ones/family doesn’t have a problem with that, we shouldn’t have it either.

    We need to stop interfering in other’s lives. We need to grow up. Live & let live.Recommend

  • King Kong
    Apr 25, 2012 - 5:11PM

    Aisam should’ve never asked her, he’s way better than her. It’s OK for Sania to marry a Pakistani cricketer, come to Pakistan to meet with Zardari, but it’s not OK for her to come here let alone play in Pakistan. She’s as Indian as she can get. Shoaib who is no good is no better either.


  • Akbar Illahabadi
    Apr 25, 2012 - 5:28PM

    The reason for her refusal is obvious. She makes tens of millions of rupees in endorsements in India and after she married Shoaib, she lost most of it. She will lose what little she has left by partnering Aisam. It is a purely business decision – not personal.


  • Amjad
    Apr 25, 2012 - 5:42PM

    Sania is not a good player but very low down in the rankings. Aisam should continue to play with players of his calibre- so this Indian woman has done him a favour by saying no.


  • Pakistani
    Apr 25, 2012 - 5:48PM

    AIsam hasn’t formally asked her to play with him. It has been more of a desire in interviews etc. Also, if she doesnt want to play with him, big deal. He is doing quite well as it is! :)


  • adam
    Apr 25, 2012 - 6:06PM

    But she said yes, yes, yes to one Pakistani, that is enough.


  • Pollack
    Apr 25, 2012 - 6:15PM

    @Imran Mohammad:
    “We Pakistanis never learn”

    I agree totally. But there comes a point where you are forced to learn even if you don’t want to just to survive.


  • Sonia
    Apr 25, 2012 - 6:16PM

    Pakistanis’ only comfort food is- WE ARE BETTER THAN THE NEXT PARTY

    Please stop living in a fool’s paradise!!!! and shame on tribune for sensationalizing this crap of a news!!!! this is not really any news!!!!!

    Sania has a goal to reach and she is working for it- Olympics- Pakistan is a huge hindrance for her!!!! since factually we dont have anything on the sports scene here- if Aisam did anything- he had to literally beg for recognition- and if Sania comes over here- MEN will be jumping out of their pajamas to get a glimpse of her- it will not be serious tennis- as if our women’s cricket team was ever taken seriously by our own crowd!!! So she is better off not coming to Pak.

    Aisam has 14th rank in doubles and she 8th- she is in a choosing position and she is better off with someone from her own country.

    We need a lot of improvement in our own country to invite someone over for training sessions and playing international level tennis.


  • romeo
    Apr 25, 2012 - 8:28PM

    Why Aisam does not find any doubles partner other than Shoib’s wife………..Aisam should never approach her to be his partner…………there are lot of players there in the circuit much better than Shoib’s wife…..what do you say guyz


  • Yash
    Apr 25, 2012 - 9:18PM


    agree to everything except that asiam is 14th in MALE doubles ranking and sania is 8th in FEMALE doubles ranking


  • Nico
    Apr 25, 2012 - 10:12PM

    What singles career? Lol.


  • Ashraf P
    Apr 26, 2012 - 6:15PM

    @King Kong: Don’t say such cruel things about Pakistan’s bahu. If Sania played in Pakistan she would have to wear a Hijab and we all know how difficult it is to play tennis in hijab. Come on man, be a sport and give bahu a break, will you?


  • Sonia
    Apr 28, 2012 - 12:24PM

    @ Yash

    ok- i agree- do they make any different rankings when having mix matches????
    Those are the rankings they follow- so does it make any difference.

    I am not against Aisam- he is a full self-made player in all respects- but this news is piece if crap!!!! and just saying crap abt a gud player be it Aisam or Sania isnot going to help anyone!!!


  • soul for peace
    May 1, 2012 - 1:25PM

    why do you guys always try and make decisions for others? Why cant you leave it to people concerned?? Aisam might be a great player, so be it, Sania has never said she wants to change her partner, so why should she be bothered and if she was asked, she refused and she has her reasons, these reasons might suit Pakis or might not, that is not her concern. Her only concern is her own career and thats how it stays.
    In any case, i recall even at the time of her marriage she made it clear that she wants to continue to play for India and that she does not wish to change her nationality. Also that she will not stay in Pakistan and will stay in Dubai….Now, where is the problem really?


  • Kenneth
    May 3, 2012 - 7:57PM

    … I feel really ashamed about the reaction and mentality of our Youth… Let me make it simple. Suppose if you are Car Racer and used to play on Honda Civic 1.8 in every international race and someone asks you to please switch your team to Toyota Corolla 1.8 for the upcoming international tournament. What would be your reaction. Definitely NO. This is what Sania thinks… She is used-to with Bhupati and don’t want to take risk for anyone’s unprofessional demands. This is sports not politics. Once again very disappointed. Recommend

  • Suresh R
    May 14, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Stop taking everything so personally and mixing it up with Pakistani Nationalism or National pride. These are career choices of a superstars. There are lots of factors that have a bearing including chemistry and interpersonal rapport. Its something a person chooses for themselves and trying to smell a rat or making it a india vs pakistan issue is childish. As a Indian I think Sania’s right to choose and freedom to do whatever she pleases reigns supreme.

    Tommorrow if she chooses to play for pakistan then that too should be welcome by India and in true spirit cheer her. We don’t get international sports stars in this part of the world so the least we can do is respect them and feel honored that they decide to even be part of the country they play for.
    If india looses her as Indians we should accept it and not blame her for it or lync her for it. Thats shallow and demeaning to ourselves. True freedom of choice in democracy remember ? Lets live by that and we will have more people like Sania that we can be proud of.


  • curious
    May 15, 2012 - 12:22PM

    Obviously she is not up to it, she said herself she is always injured, that is why she said no probably.


  • Ritz
    May 17, 2012 - 3:53PM

    Common guys, when did Sania said she will never play with Aisam? This is Olympics Year, and already the season is underway. This is not correct time for a new team pairing. Could have before next season. And it will certain help in creating New Pak-India express jodi.


  • Arif
    May 17, 2012 - 11:21PM

    This comment thread is a glaring example of Pakistan’s male chauvinism.


  • Haroon Rashid
    May 18, 2012 - 10:15AM

    Our missiles are named after Afghans; our main avenues are named after Arabs; our main cricket stadium is named after a Libyan, who held us in such high esteem.

    So, why shouldnt we hanker after an Indian tennis star? After all, she is a Muslimah, and everyone knows we are the Fortress of Islam. So, it is the duty of every Muslim to pay heed when we ask them for something.

    Sania Mirza must play in Pakistan, and for Pakistan. Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Aamir Khan also must project Pakistan in a positive light in their movies.


  • saad
    May 18, 2012 - 7:43PM

    good for her


  • maestro
    May 19, 2012 - 8:43AM

    She married a Pakistani! Enough said! Stop bringing politics into everything please! She is and IA will remain Pakistan’s bahu. She can play with whomever she deems appropriate.


  • Aria
    May 20, 2012 - 5:25AM

    Dude….just one liner i can say….At this point of time, Sania Mirza is nothing but an Veena Mallick for Pakistan…Do not ask me the reason….It is damn obvious…..That is why i am getting all the news about Sania from Pakistani news paper and about Veena from Indian news paper…


  • Mahi
    May 22, 2012 - 4:11PM

    @maestro: Marrying a Pakistani DOESN’T make her a Pakistani,does it?so it’s her life let her decide instead.


  • F
    May 23, 2012 - 12:08PM

    i couldnt agree more!


  • Hussain
    May 23, 2012 - 2:40PM

    @Haroon Rashid:
    Well gentleman, I don’t agree to your “must”. The dilema here is why we become so emotional on every single valueless incident. Do we really need and have time to wiast on such rubissh. Anybody don’t wants to play with Pakistani player, have right to express one’s desires. Its not and should not be an issue, the question is why Sania Mirza become so important to us, treat her as a simple girl who married to a guy of her choice.


  • Hussain
    May 23, 2012 - 2:43PM

    @Suresh R:


  • May 23, 2012 - 10:13PM

    We should stop pretending as Sania Bibi is our Jageer. If she doesn’t want to play along with a Pakistani tennis player….it’s alright!


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