Sania Mirza | The Indian Tennis Star

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Her Life: A Role Model for Millions

  • Year 1986 – Born in Mumbai.
  • Year 2001 – Debuted at the age of 15.
  • Year 2003 – Turned pro and played in her first WTA tournament.
  • Year 2010 – Got married to Shoaib Malik.
  • Year 2016 – Received the Padma Bhushan.

“One win and you’re on top of the world. Lose in the first round of the next tournament: you’re back to reality.”

Sania Mirza is an Indian tennis legend and one of the top doubles tennis players in the world. She has won six Grand Slam titles in her career. After suffering a wrist injury in 2008, she shifted her focus from singles to doubles and mixed doubles. In 2016, the Time Magazine named her in the list of 100 most influential people in the world.

Childhood

Sania Mirza was born on November 15, 1986 in Mumbai. Her father, Imran Mirza was a sports journalist and was also engaged in the construction business. Her mother was Nasima Mirza and she was in a printing business. She has a younger sister named Anam.

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Sania was brought up in Hyderabad and had a passion for tennis since childhood. She began playing lawn tennis at the age of six. She got training from her father and other members of her family. Finally, she became a professional in 2003.

Personal Life

She did her schooling from the Nasr School in Hyderabad and after that, she graduated from the St. Mary’s College. Sania received an honorary degree from the MGR Educational and Research Institute University in Chennai in 2008.

She married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik on April 12, 2010. The couple has a baby boy named Izhaan.

Career Journey

Sania’s passion led her to take part in the tournaments conducted in India. In 2001, she started to play in the ITF (International Tennis Federation) tournaments and the next year, she won three titles. In 2002, she won a Bronze Medal in the Busan Asian Games in the mixed doubles. In 2003, she got the chance to play in her first ever WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) tournament.

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In 2003, she decided to play in major tournaments and won the Girls’ Doubles title at the Wimbledon Championships and the US Open Girls’ Doubles semi-finals. In that year, she also won four gold medals in the Afro-Asian Games held in Hyderabad. From 2004, she started to get success in the WTA circuit and won a doubles title at the AP Tourism Hyderabad Open. In the following year, she performed well in the Grand Slams and reached the 3rd round of the Australian Open women’s singles tournament, 2nd round of the Wimbledon and 4th round of the US Open.

In 2006, she became the first female to be seeded at a Grand Slam from India for the Australian Open. In 2008, Sania suffered a wrist injury and she did not participate in the Beijing Olympics. The following year, she won her first Grand Slam title, Australian Open Mixed Doubles title with Mahesh Bhupathi. In 2013, Sania and Mattek-Sands won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. After that, she started playing with a new partner, Cara Black and the pair was successful in reaching the advanced rounds of several tournaments the following year.

Sania and Cara reached the semi-finals of the US Open in 2014. The same year, she participated in the International Premier Tennis League and helped India win the league. Her partnership with Martina Hingis won in the Indian Wells and in the Miami Open in 2015. In 2015, she again partnered with Hingis to win the Wimbledon in straight sets which was her first Grand Slam win in the women’s doubles. They also won in the 2015 WTA Finals and followed it up with the US Open that year. The next year, the Mirza-Hingis duo won the Australian Open Women’s doubles championship.

Awards and Recognition

She has received the Arjun Award for her outstanding achievement in 2004. Being a successful sports person, she also got the Padma Shri (2006), Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2015) and Padma Bhushan (2016).

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