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Sania Mirza

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Sania Mirza was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra on 15 November 1986 to Imran Mirza and his wife Naseema Mirza. Her father was engaged in the construction business while her mother was in printing business. She has a younger sister. The family moved from Mumbai to Hyderabad not long after Sania Mirza’s birth and it was in Hyderabad that she started learning lawn tennis from her father from the time she was only six year old. Mirza attended Nasr School in Hyderabad. She graduated from St. Mary’s College but her real goal was to become a professional tennis player and to that end, she started taking part in tournaments in India. In 2001, she started playing in the ITF tournaments and the following year she won three titles to cement her credentials as an upcoming player. The following year she won a Bronze Medal in the Busan Asian Games in the mixed doubles.

 

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Career

She turned into a professional in 2003 and started playing in major tournaments. Subsequently, she won the Girls’ Doubles title at the Wimbledon Championships and the US Open Girls’ Doubles semi finals the same year. The same year, she also won 4 gold medals in the Afro-Asian games held in Hyderabad. From 2004 onwards, she started to taste success in the WTA circuit and won a doubles title at the AP Tourism Hyderabad Open. Additionally, she won 6 singles titles in the ITF circuit as well. However, the following year, she performed particularly well in the Grand Slams as she reached the 3rd round of the Australian Open women’s singles tournament, 2nd round at Wimbledon and 4th round at the US Open. She was adjudged the ‘WTA Newcomer of the Year’ for the season.

In 2006, she became the first female from India to be seeded at a Grand Slam when she was seeded at the Australian Open, but she could not go far in the tournament. Other than a few notable wins, she could not go much ahead in singles event but at the US Open the following year she reached the quarter finals of both the women’s doubles as well as the mixed doubles events. 2008 was a year in which Sania Mirza suffered a wrist injury and her game suffered, as she pulled out of French Open and US Open tournaments. She did not participate at the Beijing Olympics as well but the following year she won her first Grand Slam, ‘Australian Open Mixed Doubles Title’ with Mahesh Bhupathi. Over the next few years, she kept struggling with the wrist injury due to which her game suffered.

Following a long string of poor results and first round exits in singles events, Mirza started concentrating more on doubles events in 2011 and the same year, she and her partner Elena Vesnina reached the final of the French Open. The following year, the duo of Mirza and Vesnina reached the semi finals at the Australian Open and won the French Open mixed doubles title with Mahesh Bhupathi. In 2013, Mirza and Mattek-Sands won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships but could not make a mark at the Grand Slams and Mirza started playing with a new partner, Cara Black. The pair was successful enough in reaching the advanced rounds of several tournaments the following year.

Mirza and Cara Black reached the semi finals of the US Open in 2014, but won the Mixed Doubles title with Bruno Soares. The same year, Mirza participated in the International Premier Tennis League and helped her team ‘Indian Aces’ in winning the league. Mirza teamed up with Chinese player Hsieh Su-Wei in 2015 and then with Bethanie Mattek Sands but her partnership with Martina Hingis proved to be an inspired decision and they won in Indian Wells and at the 2015 Miami Open. In 2015 Mirza partnered with Hingis to win at Wimbledon in straight sets and that constituted her first Grand Slam win in women’s doubles. They also won the 2015 WTA Finals and followed it up with the US Open in the same year. The following year, the Mirza-Hingis duo won the Australian Open Women’s doubles championship.

 

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Personal life

In 2009, Sania Mirza became engaged to childhood friend Sohrab Mirza, a millionaire businessman. However the wedding was called off shortly after. On 12 April 2010, she married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in a traditional Hyderabadi Muslim wedding ceremony at the Taj Krishna Hotel in Hyderabad, India followed by a Pakistani wedding customs for a mahr of 6.1 million. Their Walima ceremony was held in Lahore, Pakistan.

 

Awards

2016:- Padma Bhushan

2016:- CNN-IBN Indian of the Year in Sports

2015:- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for Tennis

2006:- Padma Shri

2004:- Arjuna Award for Lawn Tennis

 

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