|Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza
Karachi: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza has dismissed reports that her marriage with Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik is in trouble.
News of their alleged separation and differences have been doing the rounds for a while. But the Indian tennis star, who is on a private visit to Sialkot, the hometown of her in-laws, clarified that reports about her marriage being on the rocks were incorrect.
“Our marriage has not been easy because we are professional athletes and come from different countries. We knew there would be stress on us with time, but we have so far managed it well. There are no problems between us at all,” said Sania.
[Last June, in an interview to The Telegraph, Sania had said: “When we fell in love, the last thing on our mind was either the nationality or the colour of skin... As sportswomen and sportsmen, we’re exposed to so many cultures, so many environments... I just fell in love and, then, married against all odds.
“... No matter what happens, hopefully, we’ll remain husband and wife. There’s a world beyond India and Pakistan.]
On Wednesday, she said: “I came to Sialkot to just relax with my husband and in-laws before the start of my circuit commitments in Europe.
“I have had a great time and just been busy eating out and shopping to my heart’s content, because I am away from the media limelight,” she added.
The speculations about problems between Sania and Shoaib became rife due to the continued distance between the two, but Sania explained that this was because of their professional commitments.
“It has not been easy for either of us, but we have tried to manage as best as we can. I am still as much in love with Shoaib as I was when we got married four years ago,” she said.
Sania said that keeping a balance between her marriage and a professional tennis career was a difficult job and was taxing at times. But we have the future ahead of us,” she pointed out.
She also made it clear that she loved visiting Pakistan and would have no qualms about taking part in any international event if it was held in the country.
“I know there is lot of talk about the security situation in Pakistan, but I have no problems visiting Pakistan as it is my sasural,” she said.
Sania said she also enjoyed having chaats from roadside vendors. “When I went to the bazaars, the shopkeepers used to first wonder whether I was Sania Mirza. But when they saw Shoaib with me, they knew it was me. It was fun giving autographs and clicking pictures.
“This is the best possible way to unwind before a tough tennis circuit comes up,” she said.
A cricket fan, she said she was disappointed that India lost in the final of the World T20 tournament.
Sania said: “I was in Sialkot but I watched the final and we were all cheering for India. But it was Sri Lanka’s day.
“I am also praying that Shoaib gets back his form soon, as he remains a top player. Every top cricketer goes through ups and downs,” she said.
Sania will leave Sialkot on April 18. (Agencies)