Indian ladiesâ€™ tennis star Sania Mirza has reportedly turned down an offer to partner with Pakistan menâ€™s player Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi in mixed doubles despite Qureshi expressing interest in playing alongside the Indian tennis star several times in the past.
Sania is currently mixed doubles partners with Indiaâ€™s Mahesh Bhupathi, who is ranked 15th in the world in doubles, one place behind Qureshi in the mixed doubles competitions on the international circuit. Aisam is currently playing limited mixed doubles events, partnering with the Czech Republicâ€™s Andrea Hlavackova. â€œIâ€™m playing quite well with Bhupathi in grand slams so I donâ€™t think I need to change anything right now,â€ Mirza, who is ranked eighth in doubles, told the Express Tribune. â€œPlaying with Aisam right now is not possibleâ€.
Mirza, who is married to former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik, also ruled out playing in Pakistan in the near future despite an invitation from the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF). The PTF has been keen on getting Mirza to play exhibition matches or give coaching in Pakistan ever since she got married to Malik. The Indian, however, ruled that out too, citing complete absence of international tournaments in Pakistan. â€œI havenâ€™t asked for a huge pay check 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 thereâ€™s no chance I can play there,â€ she said.
Mirza also ruled out visiting Pakistan any time soon as her current schedule is full, especially with the 2012 London Olympics just over three months away. She needs to stay in the top-10 till June 11 cut-off date in order to be eligible for the Olympics.
Mirza also confirmed that she has given up playing singles after undergoing her third surgery in the last five years. â€œTennis and the surgeries take a lot out of you. I realized at the start of the year that it was impossible for me to pursue a singles and doubles career. Ever since Iâ€™ve given up on my singles career, my performance in doubles have improved,â€ said Mirza, who is currently writing a book on her career and the important phases of her life. â€œI even reached a career-best seventh in the world and thatâ€™s why Iâ€™ve decided to concentrate solely on doubles tennis,â€ she insisted.