Former doubles world No. 1 Sania Mirza was so happy for Meshkatolzahra Safi after she met her idol Rafael Nadal and took a selfie with him. Safi, 17, made tennis history at the Australian Open as she became the first Iranian girl to win a Grand Slam match.
Mirza, who has won multiple Grand Slams titles and is set to retire after the season, was asked what what she thinks a teenager like Safi could do to block all the noise. “Honestly I think that it was a lot easier to ignore the noise 20 years ago; it’s a lot harder to do it now," Mirza told The National.
“There’s so much social media and every time you pick up your phone you’re hearing things and you see many times”.
Mirza felt so happy for Safi
“I think that it is incredible – I know there’s not a lot of tennis in Kenya but I think it’s even more incredible that an Iranian girl has won a round at a Grand Slam.
I think that is very special for more reasons than one. I don’t want to get into the reasons, but I think it is extremely special and I just hope that she gets that chance to build from here," Mirza continued. “I actually just saw her picture with Rafael Nadal and it fills your heart honestly.
Because I think that when you are, as I have been, the first person to do many things from my country or from the subcontinent, it is very special to be able to do this”. World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty says the more global game gets, the better.
“The growth in the women's game is exceptional,” Barty said. “The depth in our women's game now on the professional side, there have been so many players that have inspired others to pick up a racquet or to dare to dream."