SANIA MIRZA : First women Indian tennis Star
Name: Sania Mirza
Date of Birth: 15 Nov 1986
Birth Place: Mumbai
Height: 1.67 m
Weight: 54 kgs
Profession: Tennis player
Education: Nasr School
Father: Imran Mirza
Started playing: at the age of 6
Plays: Right Handed (Double Handed Backhand)
Coach: Krishna Bhupathi
Physiotherapist: Mr Badrinath
First ITF junior event abroad: Lahore, Pakistan
Has visited: 35 countries
Favourite tennis player: Steffi Graf
Career Highs Career-High Singles : No. 97 (feb 28, 2005)
Career-High Doubles : No. 166 (October 25, 2004)
Education: 10th standard (SSC) in the first division with 63 per cent marks.
Likes to: stay at home, just watch a movie and surf the Net.
Dislikes: Apple and bananas
Actor: Akshay Kumar
Actress: Raveena Tandon
Songs: rap and Hindi
Dress: Salwars, Jeans
Colours: black,red and blue
Would like to see the movie: Black
Prefers: Advantage India to advantage Sania
Strengths: Ground strokes
Needs to improve: Her fitness
Sponsoring Companies:GVK group and Adidas who picked her when she was only 12.
Current Endorsement deals: GVK Industries, Sahara, Atlas Cycles, Tata Tea and Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh
Daily Routine: Three hours of physical fitness training, in a day which includes all kinds of training, gym 3-4 times a week, some speed work, endurance and agility.
As a junior: The US Open 2003 is her last Grand Slam as a junior after which she will be playing in the seniors.
Her grandfather: Muhammad Zafar Mirza, played university-level cricket. He also played club cricket for Middlesex in England. But his first love was hockey.
Award: Padma Shri award for her contribution to tennis on Jan, 2006
Was given the Arjuna Award for the year 2004 from the Govt of India.
Career Highlight: Getting to the fourth round in the U.S. Open 2005, in her first year in the U.S. Open and that too on the first year on the tour.
Feb 2005 Won Hyderabad Open WTA
Oct 30, 2003 won gold in afro-asian games at Hyderabad
Jun 2003 G18 Doubles Champion (with Alisa Kleybanova RUS), The Junior Championships, Wimbledon, London, GBR, ITF GA
Jun 2003 Doubles Winner (with Sanaa Bhambri IND), 11th Frankfurt Int’l, Germany
Apr 2003 Doubles Winner (with Sanaa Bhambri IND), Shuzo Challenge Japan Open, Nagoya, JPN, ITF G1
Apr 2003 G18 Singles Winner, 14th Mitsubishi Lancer, Manila, Philippines
Dec 2002 Singles Winner & Doubles Finalist (with Isha Lakhani IND), Asian Closed Junior Tennis Championships
Aug 2002 Singles Winner & Doubles Winner (with Tarryn Terblanche RSA), South/Central Africa Circuit, Botswana
Jul 2002 Singles Winner & Doubles Winner (with Isha Lakhani IND), Pretoria University
Jul 2002 Doubles Winner (with Isha Lakhani IND), PIC Pretoria
Jan 2002 Doubles Winner (with Linda Smolenakova SVK) & Singles Qtrfinalist, Victorian Champs., Australia
Jul 2001 Singles & Doubles Winner (with Sasha Abraham IND), Movenpick Int’l
Feb 2001 Singles Winner & Doubles Quarterfinalist (with Sasha Abraham IND), Bangladesh
Feb 2001 Singles Winner & Doubles Finalist (with May Rosa INA), India ITF Junior Circuit III – Calcutta
Jan 2001 Doubles Winner (with Sasha Abraham IND) & Singles Quarterfinalist, Indian ITF Junior I – New Delhi
Oct 2000 Singles & Doubles Winner (with Zahra Omer Khan PAK), Pakistan Int’l Junior Championships
Sep 2000 Singles Winner & Doubles Semifinalist (with Reddhina Parekh IND), Indian ITF – Mumbai
Nov 1999 Doubles Winner (with Nida Waseem PAK) & Singles Finalist, Pakistan Int’l
The first Indian woman to reach the fourth round of a grand slam tournament when she was defeated by Maria Sharapova in the US open 2005.
The first woman from India to capture a WTA Tour title, when she paired with Lizel Huber of South Africa to win the Hyderabad Open doubles title.
Became the first-ever Indian girl to have won a Grand Slam title when she triumphed in the girls’ doubles event at Wimbledon partnering Alisa Kleybanova of Russia.
Former Health Minister Sushma Swaraj handed over a cheque of Rs 5 lakh when she won the Wimbledon junior girls’ doubles title, and projected her as the brand ambassador of the Family Welfare Department.
Her dad Imran Mirza and mom Nasima were watching a Steffi Graf and Conchita Martinez battle, when they decided to make their daughter a Tennis star.
Annually Sania requires 40 lakhs for her expenses and Andhra Pradesh government is trying their level best to see that the lady scales height.
Former Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu, announced that the Grand Slam title winner would be presented a house site and a cash incentive of Rs 10 lakhs in recognition of her brilliant performance in the Wimbledon.
Prize money: $140,000 WTA Hyderabad Open
Plans after Tennis: Interior Decoration or start a tennis academy
Credits her success: Parents, coaches and God.
Mental strength: Prays five times a day and says that is as good as meditation.
Security: Two armed police guards will shadow Sania wherever she goes in the state.
About her Maria Sharapova: “She’s very young and has a great future ahead of her. She has a very big game.”
Her coach: “Sania has the right material to reach the very top”
Leander Paes: ”I personally feel that she is one of the frontrunners of Indian sports”
Mahesh Bhupathi: ”She’s on a roll and it’s obviously not going to last forever. But she deserves it all.”
Aim: To be a top 50 tennis woman professional player and stay there for 3-4 years
Quote: “ Do not worry about winning or losing. Work hard and you will be successful.”
Sania is a hard-working, overachieving phenom who has stayed remarkably down-to-earth. Despite her successes on the WTA circuit, Sania still travels with her mother and giggles like a schoolgirl when discussing her private life. Watching Sania blush her way through interviews, it's easy to forget that her fierce serve and powerful game make her one of the better female tennis players on the planet.
Tennis sensation Sania Mirza is dispatching foes at a historic rate. Sania is the first Indian woman to advance to the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament, the first to win a WTA singles title and the first to win a junior Grand Slam title. To date, she's beaten two top 10 players, and has successfully cracked the WTA's Top 30 rankings.
Sania Mirza may not have come into this world with a racket in her hand, but it didn't take long for the tennis phenom to pick one up. Born on November 15, 1986, in Mumbai, India, Sania was encouraged to start playing the sport at the age of 6. "I used to go swimming and passed the tennis courts every day," she recalls, "and that's how it started. My mum said 'Why don't you play tennis in your summer holidays because you have nothing to do except swim for an hour or whatever?', and that's how I started playing.
Getting her career on track was another matter altogether. "My mother took me to a coach, who initially refused to coach me because I was too small," says Mirza. "After a month, he called my parents to say he'd never seen a player that good at such a young age."
Encouraged by the coach's assessment, Sania continued to train long and hard while her peers enjoyed more frivolous pursuits. In retrospect, she realizes she may have missed out on having a regular childhood, but doesn't regret it for a moment. "I realized that if you don't make those sacrifices, I don't think you can make something out of your life," she says.
"Sometimes I did feel I was missing out, like sometimes I'd want to go to a birthday party but I couldn't because I had tennis." Fortunately, Sania's remarkable focus and determination paid off.
SANIA MIRZA WINS ARJUNA AWARD
After a promising amateur career, Sania turned professional in 2003, the same year that she teamed up with Alisa Kleybanova to win a Wimbledon Championships Girls' doubles title. "It is a dream win," she said at the time, "We just met a week and a half ago, and we were like 'You wanna play doubles?', and we combined really well and beat the top seeds.
After that we didn't look at the draw." The victory wasn't just triumphant, it was also history in the making, as Sania became the first Indian woman to win a junior Grand Slam title.
More success followed in 2004 when Sania delighted her legions of Indian followers at the Hyderabad Open.
This time around, she partnered with Liezel Huber, but the results were the same, as the pair captured the doubles crown. This victory further added to Sania's legend, as it made her the youngest Indian to win a WTA or ATP tour title and the first Indian woman to win a WTA title event.
In recognition of her amazing progress, the government of India awarded Sania the prestigious Arjuna award, presented in recognition of outstanding achievement in sport.
SANIA MIRZA’S GAME
When it comes to sizing up her game, Sania Mirza is remarkably honest. "I'm not that fast on my feet," she admits, "but I have amazing timing on the ball, which is why, although I'm not that strong, I still hit the ball harder than most of the players on the circuit."
Indeed, her hard-hitting power game has drawn comparisons to Romanian legend Ilie Nastase, another player who knew a thing or two about driving home a point. "It just suited the way I'm built," she explains. "Maybe if I played squash or badminton I needed more movement, more reflexes. So, it just happened."
Call it destiny if you like, but the idea of things "just happening" seems to have been a consistent thread through Sania's young life. The Mumbai native began playing tennis at the age of 6, noting the game "just suited my style and personality."
And what a fit it's been. Since turning professional, Sania has won a 2003 Wimbledon Championships doubles title, the 2004 Hyderabad Open doubles championship and the 2005 Hyderabad Open singles crown. Along the way, she's captured the hearts and minds of her fellow countrymen, igniting a phenomenon known as "Sania Mania."
SANIA MIRZA’S PERSONALITY
Friendly and effervescent off the court, Sania is all business when she's on it. The Hyderabad Open champ has valiantly played through severe abdominal pulls as well as other nagging injuries that would have had lesser competitors begging out of the action.
Sania was even voted Best Player of the Day at the 2005 U.S. Open after defeating Marion Bartoli despite suffering from badly bleeding toes. That fierce determination has led publications like The Times of India to label her "Super Sania."
When not serving aces and smashing volleys, Sania likes to express her personality through the cheeky T-shirts she wears to her post-game press conferences. Among the messages she's worn across her chest are "I'm Cute?", "Don't Get in My Way," and "Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History."
In her spare time, Sania claims that she likes "being at home, because I am hardly at home; I am always traveling. I like staying at home, just watch a movie at home. Surf the Net.
SANIA’S NATURAL BEAUTY & SEXINESS
Only 20 years old, Sania is still growing into her 5'7", 130-lb. frame, as evidenced by her round, healthy face and still-lingering baby fat. Nonetheless, Sania has been blessed with a tall, strong frame, gorgeous long hair and deep brown eyes
Sania's sexiness is a matter of great interest in her native India. As she is Muslim by birth, many believe that Sania's exposed flesh is not in keeping with her religion's traditional standards of dress and decorum. On September 8, 2005, the Hindustan Times reported that a religious scholar named Haseeb-ul-hasan Siddiqui had issued a fatwa on Sania because of the clothing -- or lack thereof -- she wore when competing. The All-India Shia Muslim Personal Law Board has since called the fatwa "unnecessary and uncalled for," but the debate still rages among some.
"As long as I am winning, people shouldn't care whether my skirt is six inches long or six feet long," Sania said following the fracas. "How I dress is a very personal thing. It is scary that every time I wear a T-shirt, it becomes a talking point for the next three days."
When it comes to men, Sania has a very specific idea of what she likes. "He has to be good looking and over six feet tall," she says. "No, on a serious note, I think he needs to understand me and he needs to be a nice person and not have any ego hassles. I need a guy who understands me." Think you fit the bill? Keep in mind that you'll have to get by Naseem Mirza, Sania's mother and constant traveling companion on the pro circuit.
SANIA MIRZA ACCOMPLISHMENTS & FAME
When you come from a country of a billion people, your fame has a way of building rapidly. Since bursting onto the professional scene, Sania has helped to put Indian tennis on the map by winning the 2003 Wimbledon Championships Girls' doubles title, the 2004 Hyderabad Open doubles championship and the 2005 Hyderabad Open singles crown.
Strong showings at other events (like the Australian Open, where she went head-to-head with Sernea Williams, and the U.S. Open, where she took on Maria Sharapova) have only added to Sania's mystique. She is currently the highest-ranked woman player to ever emerge from India, and she has defeated two top 10 players in Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova.
Sania's stellar play and winning personality have won her an Arjuna Award, India's top sports honor, and a place on the South Asian cover of Time magazine, where she was included in the publication's list of "Asia's 50 heroes."
Sania's goal is to stay in the WTA's top 50 for three to four years. "Let us see how it goes," she says. "A lot of factors come into play, like luck and destiny."
On the court, Sania is your typical tennis jock, sporting a range of form-fitting clothes courtesy of her sponsor Lotto. Although her favorite colors are red and black, for the sake of competition, she wears a splash of soft yellows, blues and whites. Away from the action, her taste isn't quite so discriminating.
"I wear everything," she confesses. "Salwars, jeans, pants, everything. I mostly don't have time to wear all that, though. I am mostly in my tracks!" Sania generally accentuates her look with a nose ring, multiple earrings and her patented black-frame glasses.