Sania Mirza

Born on 15th November, 1986 to Imran Mirza and Nasima Mirza, Sania Mirza is undoubtedly one of the greatest tennis players India has ever produced. She started playing tennis at the young age of six. Sania Mirza was a former world no. 1 in doubles and has also won six Grand Slam titles in her career.

Sania Mirza was the highest ever ranked player from India at 27 as per the Women’s Tennis Association.  She also has notable wins over former world no. 1s, Martina Hingis, Victoria Azarenka, etc.  She is one of the only two women from India who have won a WTA title of any kind. Unfortunately, due to a wrist injury, Sania had to bid a farewell to her singles career.

After the injury, Sania decided to focus completely on her doubles career. She remained world no. 1 in doubles for 91 weeks and has also won 43 WTA titles, the most by any active player. Her most successful partner was the Swiss legend, Martina Hingis. Mirza and Hingis won the Wimbledon doubles title in 2015, giving Sania her first Grand Slam. The pair won many other titles but in 2016, both of them mutually decided to part ways.

Sania has been an offensive baseliner and her groundstroke is very powerful. She is also a great returner of serve helping her to hit winners. Although Sania is a great player, she has had problems with covering the court and her second serve has been a concern for her.

Sania married Shoaib Malik in April 2010 and later gave birth to their son, Izhann Mirza Malik in 2018. After nearly two years, Sania returned to the court in January 2020 and also played the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Apart from her oncourt life, Sania has been the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia, making her the first South Asian woman to hold such a position. Sania is at present the ambassador for the Indian state of Telangana

These aren’t the only achievements in her cap, she has also been awarded the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

She has been a prominent speaker and an advocate of feminism. She did not succumb to societal pressure and returned to the court after pregnancy. She has also motivated people through her autobiography,  Ace Against Odds. Along wiht bring India’s most profilic tennis player, she is also one of the most highly paid the country has. Her journey in a less supported sport in the country has inspired many girls and boys to take up tennis.

-Rukmini Salodkar

FY BSc. 

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