Mixed doubles world number one Sania Mirza has already written an autobiography at the age of 29 – but she doesn’t just know her tennis and writing – she’s also learnt how to talk smart and deal with journalists.
So when Rajdeep Sardesai asked her in an interview on India Today TV about motherhood and settling down, it riled up the tennis star and she hit back with full force – this time with words rather than her forehand.
To Rajdeep’s credit, he profusely apologised for asking the question.
You can watch the interview below, and here’s how the conversation went…
Rajdeep: Amidst all the celebrityhood, when is Sania going to settle down? Is it going to be in Dubai? Is it going to be in any other country? What about motherhood… building a family… I don’t see all that in the book, it seems like you don’t want to retire just yet to settle down.
Sania: You don’t think I’m settled?
Rajdeep: You don’t talk about retirement, about raising a family, about motherhood, what’s life beyond tennis is going to be…
Sania: You sound disappointed that I’m not choosing motherhood over being number one in the world at this point of time. But I’ll answer your question anyway, that’s the question I face all the time as a woman, that all women have to face – the first is marriage and then it’s motherhood. Unfortunately that’s when we’re settled and no matter how many Wimbledons we win or number ones in the world we become, we don’t become settled. But eventually it will happen, not right now. And when it does happen I’ll be the first one to tell everybody when I plan to do that.
Rajdeep: I must apologise, I framed that question very badly. I promise you, you’re right, I would never ask this question to a male athlete…
Sania: I’m so glad, you’re the first journalist to apologise to me on national television.
Rajdeep goes on to apologise again and asked Sania how she would like to be remembered as, to which Sania replied that she hopes her achievements will set a precedent that “no girl is asked at the age of 29 as to when she is going to have a child when she’s number one in the world” – and adds: “That’s no settling in.”
Rajdeep latched on to the jibe and said that he knew she was getting back at him, even though Sania quickly mentions that she was joking.
In the end, he apologised again.
What an ace, Sania!