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23 Mar, 2023
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A Glance At The Inspiring Journey Of India’s Tennis Ace Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza is a prominent Indian tennis player renowned all across the globe. In 2015, she was ranked first in the World Tennis Association (WTA) Doubles rankings after winning the Family Circle Cup against Swiss professional Martina Hingis. Sania Mirza was born on November 15th, 1986, in Mumbai, India. After moving to Hyderabad with her family when she was six years old, she developed a lifelong passion for sports. In a Sania Mirza interview, she revealed that her father introduced her to tennis, with whom she first practiced, and later took professional training under Roger Anderson. Married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, Sania also likes playing cricket and swimming. She has a number of firsts for women’s tennis in India under her belt.

Recently, India’s tennis ace Sania Mirza announced that 2022 will be her last playing year, announcing her retirement plans. After suffering a defeat at the opening round in the women’s double event at the ongoing Australian Open, Sania Mirza said that it’s time for her to hang up her racquet. Speaking about her retirement from tennis, Sania Mirza said: “I’ve always said that I will play until I enjoy that grind, the process which I’m not sure I’m enjoying as much anymore. Having said that, I still want to play the season because I’m enjoying it enough to play the year. I’ve worked very hard to come back, get fit, lose the weight and try to set a good example for mothers, new mothers to follow their dreams as much as they can. Beyond this season, I don’t feel my body doing it. It’s beat,”

“I had great memories here, singles, doubles and mixed doubles. It’s been a great journey. I am not looking forward to June or July, I am literally going week to week, with my body, with virus, there is so much uncertainty,” added Sania Mirza. 

Sania Mirza Biography

After graduating, Sania made an outstanding debut in 2001 by competing in the ITF Tournament. She received a bronze medal in the 2002 Asian Games in mixed doubles. She and Alisa Kleybanova won the Wimbledon Girl’s Doubles championship the following year and advanced to the US Open semi-finals. The same year, Sania received four gold medals in the Afro-Asian Games at the age of 17. In 2004, Sania won six ITF singles championships, after which she was chosen as the “WTA Newcomer of the Year.”

Sania Mirza’s Singles And Doubles Rankings 

While Sania was a highly competent singles player during the first half of her career, persistent wrist injuries forced her to concentrate exclusively on doubles in 2013.

Before that, Sania Mirza won the Hyderabad Open in 2005, becoming the first Indian tennis player to win a WTA singles championship. In mid-2007, she climbed to an all-time height in her career when she grabbed 27th place in the WTA Singles Rankings, which remains the highest singles position attained by an Indian to date.

In 2015, Sania Mirza broke all records and ascended to No. 1 in the WTA Doubles Rankings, the first Indian to achieve it. Only Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have reached the top of the ATP doubles rankings. The Indian ace even held the top place for 21 months until succumbing in January 2017. While Mirza has been one of India’s highest-paid and best-known athletes, she is also India’s highest-ranked female player, grabbing the 27th position in the WTA Singles rankings.

Sania Mirza: An Inspiration To Many! 

Well, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Sania Mirza has indeed put India on the world map, especially when it comes to tennis. The ace tennis player had an illustrious and grand career in Indian tennis. Her long list of achievements and decorated career can be seen from the fact she was the first Indian to win a Grand Slam title. Not one, but Sania went on to win six Grand Slam titles. Here are the top achievements of Sania Mirza:

  • Sania Mirza won three Grand Slam titles in Women’s Doubles along with Martina Hingis – Wimbledon in 2015, 2015 US Open and 2016 Australian Open. 
  • Sania Mirza has won a total of six Grand Slam titles in her decade long career. 
  • The only Indian female to win a Women’s Title Association title. 
  • First Indian women to achieve world number 1 ranking in tennis. 
  • Sania Mirza has won 6 Gold medals for India in Tennis. 
  • In total, Sania Mirza has won 14 medals across multiple sports events. 

Sania Mirza Awards

  • Arjuna Award for outstanding performance in sports and games in 2004.
  • WTA New Comer of the Year in 2005.
  • Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award in 2006.
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in sports and games (now, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award) in 2015
  • Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award in 2016.
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