Q&A with Mahesh Bhupathi & Sania Mirza

By Katy Ghassemi

Q. How long have you been playing doubles together?
There’s some back and forth banter about how many tournament they’ve played. Is it three, four or five? Finally it’s decided: Australian, Wimbledon, French and US Open.
Sania Mirza (SM): Two years, this is the second year.

Q. How did you pair up as a doubles team?
SM: Well, he manages me, he has a company he manages me, we’re great friends, we know each other, we’re Indian. I guess there are enough similarities.

Q. Are you happy with how you’re doing in the doubles?
Mahesh Bhupathi (MB): Yes, we’re pleased, we’re still alive! We’ll just take it one at a time and see how it goes.

Q. What’s your strategy going into your next mixed doubles match?
MB: Win (both laugh)

Q. How are you handling the heat on court?
SM: It’s hot! It helps that we’re Indian, I guess. We’re used to it, but it was very hot today.

Q. Do you hang out when you’re not playing doubles?
MB: Sometimes; obviously we’ve known each other a long time. I mean, we did our pre-season training season together in December with a group of players in India in Bangalore this year. We train together in the off-season for the last two years.

Q. What do you like to do when you’re not playing tennis?
SM: I like to catch a movie, very normal stuff, go out for a quiet dinner.
MB: I’ve got enough to do, so I spend a lot of time on my computer. That’s about it. Go out for dinner or movies. I’ve got a coach and a trainer travelling with me so it’s a big entourage.

Q. If you weren’t tennis players, what would you be?
SM: I’ve been playing since I was six. Honestly, I don’t know. I was interested in interior decoration.
MB: I’ve been playing since I was three, so I haven’t even thought about it.

Q. Your compatriot, Yuki Bhambri is playing in the junior boys’ tournament here. Do you have any advice for him?
MB: He’s the biggest talent we have in India right now, so it’s very exciting for us. We’re hoping he can make the transition from the juniors to the main game very soon.

Q. Have you had a chance to see much of Melbourne?
MB: I’ve been here so many times. We have a set number of restaurants that we try and visit every time we’re here.

Q. You both travel a lot. What’s the one thing you can’t leave home without?
SM: My phone, [same for] him too (referring to Bhupathi)
MB: My laptop.

Q. What’s the favourite city you’ve visited?
SM: This is one of my favourite cities, actually. And New York.
MB: Australia’s definitely one of my favourite destinations

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