Jan 17, 2008

Australian Open 2008: Sania Mirza advances despite flag disrespect controversy

Earlier this month, at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Sania Mirza has landed herself in hot water after a photographer captured her in a simple act of resting her bare feet near a small Indian flag.

Mirza, a tennis star from India, could be put behind bars for allegedly disrespecting her national flag. A complaint has already been filed against her under India's Prevention of Insult o the National Honour Act.

However, this allegation does not deter her from advances to the second round at the Australian Open after defeated Iroda Tulyaganova, of Uzbekistan, 6-4 6-2 yesterday.
"It's not easy to deal with things like that off the court. There are some misunderstandings happening," Mirza said.

"At a (grand) slam, the most important thing now is playing tennis. Under the circumstances, I'm just happy I came through the first round.

"It's in court right now. I just know I wouldn't do anything to disrespect my country. I love my country. I wouldn't be playing Hopman Cup otherwise. I'm not allowed to comment right now. It's in court."

This is not the first time Mirza has landed herself in controversies. Mirza, a Muslim, has been the target of a fatwa for wearing short skirts and singlet tops. Then she was incorrectly accused of supporting pre-marital sex.

According to tournament officials at the Hopman Cup, who defended Mirza, explained that the reason why Mirza kept her feet raised was to stop a build up of lactic acid.

I'm sure many would have agree that, Mirza is a talented player, but all these continuous controversies and judgment against her are definitely going to destroy her future career in tennis.

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