India’s Sania Mirza has been dragged into a series of controversies at home so she decided to boycott all Indian tournaments, including March’s Bangalore Open.
Firstly the 21-year-old Mirza was criticized for her tennis clothes which were termed un-Islamic by religious Muslim groups (of course, Mirza was wearing regular tennis outfits, not those like Bethanie Mattek’s). Then, she had to apologize to mosque officials in her hometown for shooting an advert on its premises after a complaint of trespass was filed against her to the police. The most recent problem Mirza faced, and the one that even made her consider retiring from tennis, happened in January, when she was allegedly showing disrespect to the Indian flag (see the photo). Because of this last incident, Mirza may even end up in jail.
The tournaments are definitely at loss because India’s youth icon Mirza will bypass them. But who can blame her, she went through a lot! However, I must notice she seems surprisingly strong, especially if we take into account she’s only 21. She dealt with all the incidents very well.