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India's shining tennis star..

" I join millions of young Indians you have inspired with your spirit to greet you on a game well played. You showed, through your spirit and your talent, that true sport is about playing a game well without worrying about the result"

This is an excerpt from Prime Minister Manmohan singh's congratulatory message to sania mirza, india's teen sensation, the girl with a "go get it" attitude.

Sania's latest claim to fame was her recent headline- making match with Serena Williams in the third round of the Australian open. Ranked at 166 in the world and laying in the main draw as a wildcard against the American superstar at the Australian Open Grand Slam, Sania went down 1-6 4-6 in the 57 minutes but more than lived up to her expectations as she matched the six-time Grand slam champion stroke for stroke midway through the second set . This 18 yr old from Hyderabad with the golden nose ring became the first Indian woman to reach the third round of a grand slam tennis event.

This is not the only reason that Sania has captivated the public.

On the 28th June 2003, she won the Wimbledon juniors women's doubles title becoming the first Indian girl to win a grand slam title. She and her Russian partner Alisa kleybanova came back from one set down to win the final 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 at the Wimbledon tennis championship defeating Katherine bohgmova of the Czech republic and Michaela Krajicek of the Netherlands. It was after 51 years that an Indian girl had reached the final of a grand slam, the last being Rita Dabur who had finished runners-up in the singles event in 1952.

Sania was born in Mumbai in a conservative family on the 15th November 1986 to Imran and Nasima Mirza. Though she was born into a cricket loving family- former Indian test captain Ghulam Ahmed was a distant uncle of father Imran- she was introduced to tennis when she was six. She started practicing under CK Bhupathi, Mahesh Bhupathi's father and first started playing tennis at the Nizam club in Hyderabad. She learnt the professional game at the Sinnet tennis academy in Secunderabad before finally moving to the Ace Tennis academy in the USA.

What an achievement!!

Sania, whose strong points are her ground strokes and aggressive approach, played her first international tournament in 1999 when she represented India at the world junior championship at Jakarta. She has also appeared till the semifinal round of the French open girls doubles and in the girls singles at Wimbledon where she suffered a second round defeat . her latest achievements include Boca Raton classic women's ITF tennis tournament at Florida, USA,

And the double title at the Hyderabad open. History was created at the Hyderabad open as Sania Mirza partnered Liezal Huber to win a professional tennis title on the WTA tour. She also stepped into the footsteps of legends like Vijay Amritraj, Leander Paes, Ramesh Krishnan, Ramamnathan Krishnan, and Mahesh Bhupathi , becoming , at the age of 17, the youngest Indian tennis player in the history to win a professional Tour event.

Did you know?
> On January 12,2004, India named Sania Mirza as its brand ambassador in the year of the girl child.
> Her parents were watching a Steffi Graf and Conchita Martinez battle, when they decided to make their daughter a tennis star.
> This hardworking star begins her workout sessions at 6.30 a.m , extending up to 7 in the evening.
> She was nursing an ankle injury and was on painkillers during the Australian open tennis championship in Melbourne.
> She used to always win the "most promising player trophy", inspite of losing in the final.

At a Glance

Date of Birth: 15th Nov 1986

Place of Birth : Mumbai, India

Parents : Imran & Nasima Mirza

Height: 1.68 m

Current ranking :
Singles - 54   Doubles - 28

Her Food: Biriyani which she is not supposed to have during her tournament.

Her Music: Loves listening to Eminem, Rap and Hindi remixes.

Her Idol: Steffi Graf

Her Most Cherished Moment: The moment she'll cherish a lifetime, came right at the end of the match when Serena warmly patted her opponent and offered words of encouragement." she made me a winner in my loss", says Sania

Her Wish: She wants to be an inspiration for the youngsters in the country and would love to see them come up like her.

Her Immediate goal: She is aiming at breaking into the top 50 before the end of this year.

Personally yours......

The tennis player has a younger sister, Anaam.

Sania's mother , Nasima travels with her in every tour and looks after her daughter's health needs and helps Sania maintain the balance between her academic and sports activities , her family , teachers and friends fully support her.

She had managed to score 63 percent marks in class X despite her hectic training schedule.



• At Stars for Stars on March 21, 2006, collected Newcomer of the Year Award.


Thanks to SONY for her inputs.