India’s tennis ace Sania Mirza today said it was a ‘huge honour’ to be conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the recognition will push her further to do well on the professional tour and next year’s Rio Olympics.
Amongst Sania’s many achievements, what stands out is her women’s doubles triumph at Wimbledon with partner Martina Hingis earlier this year, becoming doubles world number one and now the Khel Ratna, country’s highest sporting honour.
“I would not like to pick any and say one was a bigger achievement than the other. It is a simply a huge honour to get this award. It has been an amazing year so far, becoming the world number one and winning the Wimbledon of course,” Sania told PTI after receiving the award from President Pranab Mukherjee.
Sania got the honour with the awards mired in controversy again. Her recommendation for Khel Ratna was challenged by para-athlete H N Girisha in the Karnataka High Court, which sent notices to the Sports Ministry and the tennis player herself.
Asked about controversies year after year in the National Sports Awards, Sania bluntly refused to comment.
The star further said that she is looking forward to the US Open starting on Monday and is not thinking about Rio Olympics yet.
“As tennis players, we prepare for the upcoming season. I want to do well in Rio but it is too early to talk about the preparation for the event,” said Sania.