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Sania Mirza carved a niche for herself as India’s leading female tennis player – one that remains unchallenged to this day.
From popularizing forehand ground strokes to nose rings, Sania Mirza was the first Indian woman to get through the top 20 rankings in WTA for singles and top 10 for doubles.
Born to a sports journalist, Sania was introduced to the game by her father Imran Mirza. She grew up learning the tricks of the sport under the renowned C K Bhupati and then moved onto the Ace Tennis Academy in USA to polish her skills further.
Sania got her taste of International tennis when she was just 13 years old, in the World Junior Championship at Jakarta. Post that, she has been a regular at the International tournaments and in 2003, Leander Paes and Sania Mirza won the bronze medal for the country in the mixed doubles category at the iconic Asian Games.
Sania was never afraid to speak her mind. She won 10 singles and 13 doubles in her junior tennis career and since then has participated in a number of events including the Australian and French Open tournaments. In 2009, Sania Mirza picked up the Grand Slam while playing doubles with Mahesh Bhupati.
Sania was awarded the WTA New Comer of the Year, Arjuna Award and Padma Shri for her contributions to sports in general and tennis in particular.
Why we find her inspiring:
– Bracing criticisms and a fatwa, she went ahead and made the nation proud
– For having followed her dreams and her heart even under national scrutiny and pressure
*Photo credit: Sports News
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