Sania Mirza is a household name and perhaps among the very firsts and very few female sports superstars of that era. There's no denying that the heights of success in the field of tennis and sports in general that she has achieved is splendid. She is truly an inspiration for our generation and generations to come.
On her birthday today, 15th November, check out some lesser known interesting facts about tennis star Sania Mirza.
1. Sania Mirza first held a Tennis racquet at the age of 6
Born on November 15, 1986, Sania Mirza first held a Tennis racquet at the age of 6. Her first coach was Krishna Bhupathi, the father of Tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi. Later on, she also learnt the Tennis game from coach Roger Anderson.
2. She started training under her father at the age of 12
Sania started training under her father, Imran Mirza, at the age of 12. Imran Mirza, a sports journalist, nearly risked his journalism career in quest of chasing his daughter’s dreams.
3. Sania Mirza is one of the two Indian female tennis players to win a WTA title
Sania Mirza is one of the two Indian female tennis players to win a WTA title of any kind, and the only one to reach the top 100 singles rankings.
4. The government of Telangana appointed Sania Mirza as the brand ambassador of the state
In the year 2014, the government of Telangana appointed Sania Mirza as the brand ambassador of the state.
5. Sania Mirza has won six Grand Slam but all in Doubles (none Singles)
Sania Mirza has won three Grand Slam Mixed Doubles, namely; Australian Open, French Open and US Open; and she has won three Grand Slam in Women's Doubles.
6. In Asian Games, Sania Mirza has won 2 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 3 bronze medals in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014
7. In 2010 Commonwealth Games, Sania Mirza won a silver medal in Women's singles and a bronze medal in Women's doubles
8. In 2010, the Economic Times named Sania Mirza in the list of ''33 women who made India proud''
9. In 2005, the TIME magazine named Sania Mirza in the list of ''50 heroes of Asia''
10. Before marrying Shoaib Malik, Sania Mirza was engaged to businessman Sohrab Mirza
Sania got engaged to her childhood friend, Sohrab Mirza, a businessman, but unfortunately, they parted ways due to some misunderstandings. She later married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik.
11. She is the first Indian woman Tennis player to earn more than US $1 million
Sania is the first Indian women Tennis player to earn more than US $1 million in prize money.
12. In 2014, Sania Mirza was appointed as the United Nations (UN) Women's Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia
13. In 2004, Sania Mirza was awarded the Arjuna award
Sania Mirza was awarded the Arjuna award in 2014 which is given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to recognise achievement in national sports.
15. In 2006, Sania Mirza was awarded the Padma Shri, which is the fourth highest civilian award.
16. In 2015, she received Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award
In 2015, Sania Mirza received Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (now called Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award), and became the second tennis player to ever receive this award, after Leander Paes.
17. Sania Mirza's autobiography is called Ace Against Odds, which was launched by Shah Rukh Khan
In July 2016, Mirza published an autobiography titled Ace Against Odds chronicling her journey to the top. The book also lists some of her memorable encounters on and off the court and talks about the people and relationships that have contributed to Mirza's growth as a person and a sportsperson. Shah Rukh Khan launched this autobiography and called her 'rani of racquet'.
18. Sania Mirza lives – not in India or Pakistan – but in Dubai (UAE)
Sania has been married to Pakistani Cricketer Shoaib Malik since 2010. She neither resides in India nor in Pakistan. The couple lives together in Dubai, UAE.