Sania Mirza will be targeting her third Grand Slam title in the mixed doubles category at the 2013 Australia Open where she will team-up with Bob Bryan,who along with elder brother Mike has formed the most successful mens doubles pair ever and have won 82 Tour titles. Bob tells The Indian Express that he is looking forward to playing Mirza at Melbourne,and adding the Melbourne Park mixed doubles title to the seven from the other three Slams . Excerpts:
How did you and Sania Mirza get talking and what made the both of you decide to partner each other?
I have been good friends with Sania for quite some time now as we have been bumping into each other at tournaments for the past 10 years or so. Sania is a great player,so when we began talks about playing the 2013 Australian Open,it was a no brainer (that I will play this time).
What aspect of Sanias doubles play appeals to you? What is the off-court relationship that you share with her when you two meet at tournaments?
With two Grand Slam titles under her belt,Sania has already proven herself to be a great doubles player. She has great returns and volleys,which makes for a really good combination. Between my serve and her returns,I would say wed make a great team. As I mentioned earlier,weve known each other for quite a while. Weve had dinner together in the past and I expect well do the same in Australia next year.
You play the deuce court with Mike and Sania also plays in the deuce court. Have you spoken about who will switch?
We have not spoken about it yet. We will figure it out as we get closer to the Australian Open. I expect that we will test out the difference sides together beforehand and well go with whatever works best.
Among the four mens doubles Grand Slams and the mixed titles,the Australian Open mixed trophy is the only Slam missing from your cabinet. Is it a big thing on your to-do list?
It is for sure on my to-do list in 2013,but I enter every tournament with the intention to win it. My main targets in 2013 are the tournaments that Mike and I havent won in the past and of course the Grand Slams.
Her husband,Shoaib Malik,is a professional cricketer from Pakistan and India is a cricket crazy country. Do you follow the sport?
I dont follow the sport,but I do know that her husband is a phenomenal cricketer. I have met him at tennis tournaments in the past and he is a great guy. Maybe Ill have both of them teach me a few things in Australia!
If things go well,can we see you two partnering at French or Wimbledon this year too?
Whether things go well or not,it is always a possibility that we may play together in the future since we are great friends and she is such an incredible doubles player. Ill play with her anytime!