In a nation obsessed with cricket and male sports personalities, Sania Mirza can safely be called a path-breaking sports icon. The six-time Grand Slam winner Sania is one of India’s best tennis players and continues to dominate the game both on and off the field. Born on November 15, 1986, in Mumbai, Sania began her tennis career in 2003. As the tennis player turns 31, we have compiled a list of her inspirational quotes that reflect her determination and passion for the game. 

Australian Open 2017: Sania Mirza-Ivan Dodi beat Rohan Bopanna-Gabriela Dabrowski to enter semis

Australian Open 2017: Sania Mirza-Ivan Dodi beat Rohan Bopanna-Gabriela Dabrowski to enter semis

Sania became a recipient of the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2004. This was followed by the Padmashri in 2006 and Padmabhushan in 2016. Internationally, Sania was ranked No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings in 2015 by Women’s Tennis Association. From the time she started playing in 2003, to the time of her retirement from singles in 2013, Sanis was ranked as India’s No. 1 player in both singles and doubles by the Women’s Tennis Association. She has six major titles to her credit, three each in singles and doubles, and has won 14 medals (6 of which are gold) at major multi-sport events like the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Afro-Asian Games. What’s more, she was named among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016 by Time magazine.

But all has not been good in the hood. There have been several run-ins with controversies too, often for her dress choices. A section of the society has accused her of wearing revealing clothes or ‘skirts’ on the field that ‘leave nothing to the imagination’. Her off-field attires too have drawn criticism for varying reasons. Like every public figure, Sania’s personal life also made it to the headlines when she married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in 2010. From being called Pakistan’s daughter-in-law to questions being raised on her patriotism, Sania has seen it all. But like a true sportsperson, Sania has battled all these odds to emerge as one of India’s finest tennis players.

On that note, here are 10 quotes by birthday girl Sania Mirza that are sure to inspire you:

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

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I don’t play tennis to prove a point to anyone. I play for my country and myself. It’s not changing what people say or think. It’s about what I can do. If I feel I have the ability to achieve something and haven’t used my potential to that end, I’ll keep trying till I succeed.

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My biggest strength is that no one can read my forehand.

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As tennis players, you are never satisfied. We are greedy as players, always want better results.

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One of the thrills of playing at the top venues of the world is to see the Indian flag go up whenever I am participating. That’s enough motivation for any Indian to perform there.

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You have to dust yourself off after each painful loss and prepare for the next win, day after day.

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Extraordinary things happen most routinely.

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Dreams are the seeds that lead to achievements.

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Relish the challenge of defying all odds tacked against you.

Besides her on-point game, Sania Mirza is also known for the friendships she has struck. For instance with Bollywood choreographer-director Farah Khan. Theirs is an unusual but wonderful friendship that keeps the Twitterati entertained. 2017 might not have been the best year for the ace tennis player, as she said during a recent interview, but we are sure she will be back in action soon with the next series. Until then, here’s wishing the birthday girl Sania Mirza a very happy birthday!