London: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza feels, marriage to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik has brought inner calmness to her life, reports Times of India.
In London to play Wimbledon, Sania Mirza is eye-catching. Everyone - from the pros to their entourages and hanger-ons in the players restaurant at the All England Club - stopped by her table. "It's just curiosity," she explained with a careless wave of her hand.
The 23-year-old Hyderabadi's marriage to former skipper Malik, presently playing the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, is the talk of the party.
While Sania fends the questions and concerns with easy charm, she'd much rather be out there getting her forehand in finishing mode which she did for almost an hour this morning at the practice courts, hitting with left-hander Lucie Safarova. Sania plays the higher-ranked, left-handed German Angelique Kerber in the first round of the Wimbledon women's singles on Monday. Her match will be a late evening affair, fourth on Court No. 8 after a 4.30 pm (IST) start.
Sania, who has rented out a house at the posh Wimbledon Village has been juggling a busy schedule. Besides training and preparing, she has been keenly following her husband's fortunes in Sri Lanka.
Sania and Shoaib married in April. "We have been together since our marriage and this separation, I saw him last on June 1, has been very difficult. It's already 20 days. I cannot wait for the 26th, that's when he's expected here," she said. "What makes this work for both of us is the understanding. Because he is who he is, an international sportsman, he understands everything about me - my moods, my moves, everything."
Sania added, "Physically, in terms of fitness, I'm at my best. What I'm doing differently is perhaps weight training. It's not so much the change in my routine as much as what I've added on after working out with my husband. It also helps to workout with someone you love, that makes it so much more fun and before you know it a couple of hours in the gym goes by."
The Indian, ranked 113, played two tournaments in her build-up to Wimbledon and she was on the phone with her husband after every match. "After a loss I go very quiet, but he won't let it be which can be very irritating," Sania said with a laugh that brought the blush full-on. "I snap, but he keeps talking, trying to get me to talk. He's so patient, sickeningly patient. He tells me, I know you don't want to talk right now, but I'm not hanging up. He loves giving advice.
It's the details that make a partnership, and the Maliks seem to have got that right.