Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza is an Indian professional tennis player and the most successful Indian female tennis player. She is currently ranked No. 1 in womens doubles ranking. In the women singles, from 2003 to her retirement from singles in 2013, she was ranked as Indias No 1 player in both singles and doubles by the Womens Tennis Association and she was one of the highest paid and high profile athletes in the country. She is the highest ranked female player from India and has ranked to 27. In the singles in mid-2007 but she gave up her singles career after a major wrist injury. She is also the first Indian to pass 1 million US$ earnings and currently has over 6 million $. She is the third Indian woman in the Open Era to feature and win a round at a Grand Slam tournament. She is regarded as one of the finest doubles players in the world and without doubts one of the finest tennis players to represent the country.Born on 15th November 1986 in Mumbai, Maharashtra to Imran Mirza and Naseema, Sania along with her family moved to Hyderabad shortly after her birth. In Hyderabad, she was raised with her younger sister Anam in a religious Sunni Muslim family. She did her schooling from Nasr School in Hyderabad and later completed her graduation from St. Marys College and she received an honorary degree of Doctor of letters from MGR Educational and Research Institute University in Chennai in December 2008. She took up tennis at the age of six and initially she was coached by her father Imran Mirza and C. G Krishna Bhupathi, father of another famous Indian tennis star Mahesh Bhupati. She started her professional career in 2003 and won 10 singles and 13 doubles titles as a junior player. She won the 2003 Wimbledon Championship Girls Doubles title partnering Alisa Kleybanova. She also reached the semifinals of the 2003 US Open girls Doubles with Sanaa Bhambri and also reached quarterfinals in 2002 US Open Girls Doubles. After her debut in 2001, she won three straight titles in 2002 winning her first in Hyderabad and other two in Manila and Philippines. In the 2002 Asian games in Busan, she helped India win a bronze medal in mixed doubles partnering with Leander Paes. She picked up 4 gold medals at the 2003 Afro-Asian games in Hyderabad. In 2004 she won her first WTA doubles title at the 2004 AP Tourism Hyderabad Open. She reached third round in the 2005 Australian Open defeating Cindy Watson and Petra Mandula and then was defeated in the third round by eventual champion Serena Williams. In February 2005, she became the first ever Indian woman to win a WTA title by winning the 2005 AP Tourism Hyderabad Open and later she continued her good form at the 2005 Dubai Tennis Championships where in round two she upset 4th seed and reigning US Open championship to reach the second round of 2005 Wimbledon Championships where she lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova. In August 2005, she reached the third round at the Acura Classic and reached her second WTA final at the 2005 Forest Hills Tennis Classic. She also became the first Indian woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam Tournament at the 2005 US Open. She reached the semifinals of the Japan Open. Due to her brilliant performance in 2005 she was named as the WTA Newcomer of the year. She seeded at the 2006 Australian Open becoming the first female Indian to be seeded in a grand slam event and only fell to Michaella Krajicek. In the Bangalore Open she fell to Camille Pin but won the doubles title partnering Huber. She defeated Alona Bondarenko and Shenay Perry in the DFS Classic tournament and reached the third round in the tournament. In September 2006, she reached the semifinals of the Sunfeast Open and also won the double title there partnering Huber. In December, she won three medals at the Doha Asian Games winning gold in mixed doubles and silver in womens single and team. In 2007, maintaining her good performance, she reached semifinals of Hobart, second round of 2007 Australian Open, quarterfinals in Bangalore and semifinals in Pattaya. She had her best career results during the 2007 summer hardcourt season finishing eighth in the 2007 US Open Series and reaching her highest single ranking of world No. 27. She reached quarterfinals in San Diego, semifinals at Cincinnati and also won the doubles event in Cincinnati with ShaharPeer. She also made it to the finals of Stanford. In the 2007 US Open, she reached quarterfinals in the mixed doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi and quarterfinals in the womens doubles with Bethanie Mattek. In 2008, she reached the quarter finals at Hobart and reached the third round in singles at the 2008 Australian Open and was the runner up in Australian Open mixed doubles partnering with Mahesh Bhupathi. She also had injuries during this period and had to withdraw her name from the PTT Pattaya Open. She did not participate in the Beijing Olympics but the following year she won her first Grand Slam Australian Open Mixed Doubles Title with Mahesh Bhupati but she still kept struggling with the wrist injury due to which her game suffered. After a poor results and exits in single events, she started concentrating more on doubles events in 2011 and with her partner Elena Vesnina and reached the final of French Open and the duo reached the semi finals of Australian Open next year. She also won the French Open doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi. In the year 2013, she won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and later she started playing with a new partner Cara Black. The new duo reached the semi finals of the US Open in 2014. She also won the Mixed doubles title with Bruno Soares. In the same year she participated in the International Premier Tennis League and helped her team Indian Aces in winning the league. In 2015, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis won the Indian Wells and 2015 Miami Open. She partnered with Hingis and won the Wimbledon in straight sets and it was her first grand slam win in womens doubles. In the same year they also won the 2015 WTA Finals and also the US Open in the same year. In 2016, Sania Mirza participated in the Rio Olympics but was unsuccessful in winning any medal for the country.Sania Mirza married to Shoaib Malik, the former captain of Pakistan on April 2010. Mirza was named one of the 50 heroes of Asia by Time in 2005. In March 2010, The Economic Times named her in the list of the 33 women who made India proud. She was also appointed to the UN Womens Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia. She was named in Time magazines 2016 list of 100 most influential people in the world. She was awarded the Arjuna Award from Government of India in 2004. In 2006, she was awarded by Padma Shri, the 4th highest civilian honour in India. She was honoured with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2015 and a year later she was awarded by Padma Bhushan, Indias 3rd highest civilian honour.
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