Review by: Yashasvini Rathore
Edited by: Divyajyot Joshi
Ace Against Odds is the journey of Sania Mirza from being a six year old who was almost rejected by the coach of a city club to becoming the Number One women’s doubles tennis player.
Sania’s writing style is conversational and the narrative moves smoothly. It is reader friendly; she doesn’t bombard one with technical jargon. Along with details of her matches, she shares personal anecdotes and also doesn’t shy away from sharing her opinions on the controversies that have surrounded her career.
Her story is heart warming on many levels. The tremendous support of her parents who made many sacrifices for her, the amount of hard work she put in every time she was recovering from an injury and finally to the way she reinvents herself as a tennis player.
Listing all her accolades would fill up pages, so I would refrain from doing that. What really stood out for me is the way she addressed all the controversies she has faced in her entire career – the fatwa that was issued against her, being portrayed as a brash, rebellious teenager by media, the charminar controversy and being called unpatriotic on various occasions. She gives her opinions, clarifications as well as discusses her state of mind while dealing with these controversies which were mostly a concoction of the news hungry media.There is this one line in the book that captures her personality very well –
“I am a reasonable person who does not walk out of a press conference when faced with uncomfortable questions. But I don’t like being pushed against the wall and I am certainly not going to allow anyone to break me.”
There is a very thin line between self-praise and telling it how it really is. For me this book was oscillating between these two. But the fact she talks about the times she felt like giving up or the times she felt that she lost because the opponent was playing a better game acts as a kind of consolation for the oscillation.
This autobiography is definitely worth reading if one is looking for some Monday motivation as well as to gain some insight into the mind of India’s first iconic woman tennis player.
Rating :- 3 out of 5
Yashasvini believes that her epitaph would read something like this: – “She who always had a list of to-read books and loved to chase strangers’ Labradors”