"I am proud of being an Indian and I love playing for India"
India’s star female tennis player Sania Mirza is a household name. She was born November 15, 1986 in Mumbai, India. She resides in Hyderabad, India.
Sania, Muslim by religion, started to play tennis when she was 6 years old. Coached by her father, Imran Mirza, she turned professional in 2003. Sania represents India as both a professional player and a national female icon.
Sania became the first and only Indian woman to reach the 4th round of a Grand Slam tournament at the 2005 US Open.
In 2005, Mirza reached the third round of the Australian Open, losing to eventual champion Serena Williams. She holds the distinction of being the first Indian woman to be seeded in a Grand Slam tennis tournament when she was seeded 26th in the 2007 U.S. Open.
As of September 2006, Sania has achieved three top 10 wins against Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova and Martina Hingis.
Sania has a career high ranking of 27 in singles and 18 in doubles. Sania has made it to 31st position in the singles and at position 22 in the Womens Tennis Association tennis rankings (April 2008).
Sania has done much better in the doubles, reaching the quarterfinals in mixed with her partner Mahesh Bhupathi and the quarterfinals in the women’s doubles with Bethanie Mattek to date.
Sania Mirza has earned a large fan following in India as she is one of the very few young women from the country to have done well at the highest levels of sport. She is also heralded as a sex symbol and has a huge following of male fans. When asked about her game and roots she said “I am proud of being an Indian and I love playing for India.”
Sania has faced complaints from Muslim hardliners and over-enthusiastic Nationalist regarding her dress sense, especially her short-skirts and sporting outfits. These constant objections that Sania faces even forced her to withdraw from all important tennis tournaments played in India.
She has had support from stars like Naseeruddin Shah who has been vocal about letting the tennis ace get on with her profession.
Sania is Height: 5’7 1/2″ (1.53m) and weighs approx 130 lbs. (59kg). Her main hand at tennis is – Right Handed (Double Handed Backhand).
Personal interests include swimming and music. Her career ambition in tennis is to o be in the Top 20 of the World players. Her favorite player is Steffi Graff.
Romantically, Sania has been linked with stars including the Bollywood sensation Shahid Kapoor.
Check out the gallery of pictures below of Sania Mirza.