On the tennis court, one needs a cool temperament, tremendous ball sense, reflexes, speed, hand-eye co-ordination, power, timing and peak physical fitness. Off the court, the player and support team need skills in planning, execution, travel, an ability to raise funds when needed, and several other talents.
I don't think I'm old enough or experienced enough to give anyone any guidance. All I would like say is that as long as you're having fun, I think you're doing the right thing.
I think people tend to forget that as celebrities we are still human. We have the same emotions - we cry, we have fun, we laugh, we get sad, and we get hurt. When something is written about you, which millions of people are reading, and it is not true, imagine how hurtful it can be.
One of the thrills of playing at the top tennis centres of the world is to see the Indian flag go up whenever I'm participating in these events. That's enough motivation for any Indian who has the opportunity to perform at these tournaments.
As long as I am winning, people shouldn't care whether my skirt is six inches long or six feet long. How I dress is a very personal thing. It is scary that every time I wear a T-shirt, it becomes a talking point for the next three days.
As a young girl, I used to dream of giving an interview. You dream of stardom as a kid. People think they don't want to be stars. Everyone wants to be a star! That's the truth. Even grownups; they pretend they don't want to be one and don't care. But everyone wants to.
Tennis is like, it gives you a lot of chances, but if you don't take those chances, it takes a lot of chances away from you. It's just the scoring pattern. We cannot dwell over a loss or a win for very long. We have no time to celebrate; we have no time to dwell; we have to move on. Wake up the next day and try and win the match.
As I came to the lime light, the media asked me many questions. A lot many moral policing... 'Wear this, wear that, why a T-shirt?' Everybody has the right to form their opinions, and I have the right to ignore them.
Fitness is defined differently by everyone, but for me, the most important thing is being healthy. As tennis players, what we do is not the healthiest thing. We almost abuse our bodies.
Everyone has attitude, and I think everyone should have attitude. But I know I have attitude, but that's just, I think if you don't have attitude, it comes only with self confidence. So if you don't have self confidence, you won't have attitude, and I think there's a difference when you have attitude and when you have arrogance.
You want to try and win as many slams as possible in your career. As a tennis player, that's what we always dream of as a kid, wanting to play slams, wanting to win them.
I used to go swimming and passed the tennis courts every day, and that's how it started. My mum said, 'Why don't you play tennis in your summer holidays because you have nothing to do except swim for an hour or whatever?,' and that's how I started playing.
No tennis player is perfect. Even if you're world #1, I don't think, you still have things to improve on, and I'm not even close to that. So I am going to have weaknesses in my game; I am going to have strengths in my game, but I still have time to develop a lot of things, hopefully, and we'll see how it goes.
Tennis players are very fortunate that unlike some disciplines of sport, in mega-sporting events like the Grand Slams, they have a huge platform to showcase their talents on the world stage once every few months.
When I used to say I wanted to play at Wimbledon, they used to laugh in my face and say, 'What are you talking about, you're from Hyderabad, and you're supposed to... cook.' That's one of the notions that people have in this side of the world - it is our 'culture', within quotes, you know, to say what a woman can or cannot do.
As you grow older, it's harder to stay fit. Every day you wake up with pain, muscle aches which you don't know you had. I have to work harder on me than I used to when I was 18 years old. It takes me longer to recover now.
Professional tennis has become an extremely physical and unbelievably competitive sport. Injuries are the bane of tennis players, and it goes with the territory.
I think being a woman celebrity is the hardest thing in India... People will ask many things, what you wear, how you speak, when you will have a baby and other things.
I miss singles terribly, but it is a choice I make because I don't feel I am good enough anymore. I don't want to be 100 odd in the world and still play for the heck of it.
I really don't think about making fashion statements. Just like any other woman or girl, I like to dress up. I think I'm fortunate enough to be dressed by some of India's best designers and to have the opportunity to wear their wonderful creations. But I have never made a conscious effort to try and be a fashion icon or something.