Considered as one of the fastest rising stars in the sport of tennis, Indian sensation Sania Mirza is one of just few Asian tennis players who have made a name for herself in the mainstream grand slam tournaments such as the Wimbledon and the Australian Open.
Mirza was born in Mumbai, the capital city of India, to a sports journalist dad — a factor that perhaps influenced her to pursue a career in sports particularly in tennis. Hence, the future tennis star started playing the sport at age six. She was often trained by her father who, by profession has rich knowledge on multiple sports.
In 2003, the ambitious teenager pro despite questions regarding her matrurity and raw talent. Nevertheless, she made her debut at the India Fed Cup Team wherein she won all of her three singles matches to help the national selection in their campaign.
Mirza also had huge success in the Girl’s Double’s Division of the 2003 Wimbledon Championships as she teamed up with Russian player Alisa Kleybanova en route to winning the championship.
In 2004, Mirza was awarded the Arjuna Award, the highest award given by the Indian government to athletes who have done a remarkable feat in sports.
By virtue of her unprecedented success in junior’s tennis, Mirza became an instant celebrity in her native India. Thus, within a year, she became the highest world ranked female tennis player to have come out from the Hindu nation.
In 2005, Mirza had her baptism of fire, so to speak, as she was matched up against the legendary, battle-tested Serena Williams who by that time was arguably the best tennis player in the planet, in the Australian Open.
From then on, the young Mirza beefed up her resume and continued to perform at par despite being the underdog in most cases.
In 2006, Mirza achievements in sports were further recognize by the Indian government as she was awarded with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award granted by the national government.
In 2009, Mirza had her best year. She won the 2009 Australian Open, cementing her legacy as one of the finest female Asian tennis players of all time.
Despite her success inside the tennis court, there are so many criticisms that followed Mirza’s ongoing tennis career. Such criticims include the dress code she often wears in tournaments which according to Muslim purists were against the conservative views of Islam.
Nonetheless, Mirza continued her consistent performance in the tennis court.