Sania Mirza is a professional Indian tennis player born in Mumbai
and currently resides at Hyderabad
, India. Sania started her tennis career in 2003 and has been quite fond of the game of Tennis right from her childhood. Her father, Imran Mirza is the person, who has coached Sania Mirza throughout her career so far and she has also taken coaching from some of the other world class coaches. After turning professional in the year 2003, Sania Mirza became the first Indian female tennis player to have made it to the 4th round of a Grand Slam tournament. She achieved this feat at the 2005 US Open. An exciting future prospect, she is the highest ranked Indian female tennis player till date. At the end of the year 2004, Sania was ranked 206. But with some impressive performances in the last couple of years, her ranking has jumped into the top 50s.
Sania Mirza received the Arjuna Award
in 2004 from the Indian Government and was also bestowed the Padma Shri
for her accomplishments in Tennis.
Early Life of Sania Mirza
Sania was born on November 15th 1986, to the parents Imran Mirza, a sports journalist, and his wife Nasima, in Mumbai, Maharashtra
. She was brought up in Hyderabad in a religious Muslim family. Sania began playing the game at the tender age of only 6 years under the training of her father. She studied in NASR School in Hyderabad and later completed her graduation from St. Mary`s College.
Career of Sania Mirza
In April 2001, Sania made the Second Round of an ITF event in Chandigarh
and again in February 2002, she played at an ITF $event in Mumbai but lost the First Round. In April 2003, Sania Mirza made her professional debut in the India Fed Cup team, and won all 3 singles matches. She also won the 2003 Wimbledon Championships Girls` Doubles title. During the early stages of her career, the Chairman of the GVK GROUP helped Sania financially. The Chairman was impressed with Sania`s talent and decided to grant her sponsorship. She also achieved 7 ITF Singles Titles in 2004.
In 2005, Sania reached the 3rd round of the Australian Open, losing to Serena Williams. In February 2005, she became the 1st Indian woman to win a WTA singles title, defeating Alona Bondarenko in the Hyderabad Open Finals. At the Doha Asian Games, 2006, Sania won the silver in the women`s singles category and the gold in the mixed doubles along with Leander Paes
. She finished 8th in the 2007 U.S. Open Series standings. At the Wimbledon Championships 2008, Sania Mirza was beaten by qualifier Maria Jos‚ Martinez S nchez, by 6-0, 4-6, 9-7.
Sania was removed in the initial round of the Beijing Olympics, 2008, when she retired in because of wrist injury. At 2009 Australian Open, Sania won against Marta Domachowska in first round, but lost the next match to Nadia Petrova. She also competed at 2010 ITF event in Dubai. In final match, Sania Mirza beat Bojana Jovanovski to seal the singles title. In 2011, Sania Mirza participated at the Rogers Cup Open in Toronto and defeated Heidi El Tabakh in the First Qualifying Round. But she lost to the German player, Kathrin Worle in the Qualifying Round.
Personal Life of Sania Mirza
As with any celebrity, Sania too has had her share of controversies. A Muslim religious scholar had issued a fatwa against Sania claiming her attire was derogatory to Islamic religion. Sania Mirza got engaged to Sohrab Mirza, her childhood friend in 2009 but the engagement was called off soon. In April 2010, Sania Mirza married Shoaib Malik, Pakistani cricketer and the wedding was conducted in Hyderabad.
Awards and Achievements of Sania Mirza
Sania was awarded the Arjuna award in 2005. In 2006, the Government of India awarded her with the Padma Shri. Sania Mirza is also the first ever Indian sportswoman to make her way the cover of Times magazine (South Asian edition). That apart, Sania was also part of 2005 list of Asia`s 50 heroes. But there was no better proof of her performance than her being selected as the WTA`s Most Impressive Newcomer of 2005.
Her other major achievements include finishing runner up in the Asian Tennis Championship in 2004. Based on this performance, Sania was awarded a wild card entry to the 2005 Australian Open. She had a decent run reaching the third round. However, her big moment of glory came on her home turf Hyderabad in February 2005 when she became the first Indian woman to win a WTA singles title by clinching the Hyderabad Open. Sania even has to her credit the Wimbledon Championships Girls` Doubles title, which she won in 2003 along with Alisa Kleybanova of Russia.
Sania`s major achievements include the following:
|Won 2006 Bangalore Open doubles partnering with Liezel Huber).
|Reached the semi-finals of womens singles and doubles in 2005 Japan Open.
|Reaches 4th round of 2005 US Open.
|2005 Forest Hills Womens Tennis Classic, New York: Loses in the final.
|2005 Acura Classic: Beats Nadia Petrova in the 2nd round.
|2005 Dubai Tennis Championships: Beats then US Open Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the 2nd round.
|Won 2005 Hyderabad Open singles, becomes first Indian female to win WTA singles title.
|2005 Australian Open singles: Becomes first Indian to reach 3rd round.
|Won the 2004 Hyderabad Open doubles partnering Liezel Huber.
|Won the 2003 Wimbledon Championships Juniors doubles partnering Alisa Kleybanova.
|Sania became youngest Indian and 1st Indian woman to win a junior Grand Slam title.
|Won four gold medals at the 2003 Afro-Asian Games; Women’s singles, Mixed doubles (with Mahesh Bhupathi), Women’s doubles and Women’s team events (with Rushmi Chakravarthy).