Fired up by Sania Mirza's Grand Slam glory, Shikha Uberoi says India fortunes at the Fed Cup, the symbol of supremacy in women's tennis, would get a big boost in the coming days.
A US resident of Indian origin, Shikha who recently earned the right to play under the Tricolour, says she is thrilled by the prospect of playing for India at the WTA Hyderabad Open.
"I have always been passionate about playing for India, It's always in my heart," the 21-year-old rising star said.
Shikha, entered as wild card here, said she was "fired up" watching Sania make history at the Australian Open last month.
"She did it, I can do it also. I am not surprised by Sania's performance at all as she is a good player. She deserves to achieve what she has achieved. I am proud of her," says Shikha, trained by Venus Williams' former coach Rick Macey in Florida.
"Absolutely," Shikha replied when asked if India's prospects had improved at Fed Cup, with Sania, herself and Ankita Bhambri doing national duty.
"Depth in women's tennis in India has increased. We need to continue to inspire younger players to play tennis and pick up from where Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi left off".
Shikha also revealed that she planned to move out of the US sometime in the near future while stressing on the need for players in India to be given opportunities to go abroad and play big tournaments.
The player, who happens to be the cousin of Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, said she had an "incredible" 2004 and her personal goal this year was to break into the top 100.
Shikha, whose father hails from Hyderabad, the home town of Sania, started playing tennis in the US when she was all of seven.
In her Grand Slam debut at the US Open last year, Shikha defeated world number 56 Saori Obata and led 4-1 over Venus Williams in the second round before going down 7-5, 6-1.