Sania Mirza has reiterated her decision to skip the Bangalore Open after receiving constant criticism from her home country of India recently. The 21-year old tennis star did clarify that she isn't withdrawing from the tournament since she never actually entered the event.
In an email interview, the World No. 29 responded,
"First and foremost, it would be wrong to say that I have pulled out of the Bangalore Open because in the first place, I did not even enter the draw. [...] "This is the first time in my career, when I have not entered an international tournament being played in India for genuine personal reasons. I do not think I'm in the right frame of mind right now to do justice to myself or my abilities. If I was to play in this state, I believe I will be letting my fans down."Sania also believes she's been held to a higher standard by the media and her country saying,
"I don't think that all sportspersons have faced the kind of situation that I have, particularly in the last two months. Why nobody made an issue when two [India's] greatest tennis players, Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, chose to skip the ATP event in Chennai? [...] We also probably need to take a look at the lack of restraint with which certain sections of our media tend to highlight petty issues relating to me, which are bound to encourage mischievous elements because of the massive publicity that they generate."This situation is unfortunate on so many levels, but this controversy reminds us that the balance of power and equality in the world, even for athletes, is still severely skewed.
(image via AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A, File)