Indian tennis queen Sania Mirza turns 34 on November 14. Incidentally, her birthday will be celebrated with quite the aplomb by the whole country this year as it is also Diwali. One of India’s most influential sports celebrities, she has made to leave a grand in a country generally leaning towards cricket. That too, mostly male cricket. While India has been home to many famous female athletes, Tennis world has remained quite sparsely populated, and even fewer have managed to become a household name.
The six-time Grand Slam Champion has been the recipient of 2004 Arjuna Award (the second-highest sporting honour in India). She found a spot on the 2016 Times magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world. She has 14 medals to her name, with 6 gold, across three of the biggest sporting events of the world i.e. Afro-Asian Games, Asian Games, and the Commonwealth Games.
Her list of accolades is enough for a memoir, however, let’s revisit five of her biggest titles to commemorate the legendary player’s birthday.
1. 2005 AP Tourism Hyderabad Open - Singles
This is the match the firmly placed as a force to be reckoned with in the world of tennis. The year’s defending champion Nicole Pratt did not participate in the season. Game by game, Sania reached the finals. There, she defeated Alona Bondarenko (Ukraine) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. She became the first Indian woman to win a WTA singles title.
2. 2009 Australian open- Mixed doubles
Though the year’s women’s double game slipped away from her, Sania secured a win through her mixed doubles team with Mahesh Bhupathi. Playing opposite Nathalie Dechy (French) and Andy Ram (Israel), they won the title by 6-3, 6-1.
3. 2012 French Open- Mixed Doubles
The magical duo of Sania-Bhupati added one more feather to their already brimming hate by winning the French Open. It was Sania’s first French Open title and her second Grand Slam. The final was played against Klaudia Jans (Polish) and Santiago Gonzalez (Mexican) with the score -6, 6-1.
4. 2015 US Open- Doubles
This year Sania paired up with Martina Hingis (Swiss) to defeat the team of Casey Dellacqua (Australian) and Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan). The final round score was 6-3, 6-3. This was Mirza-Hingis second consecutive Grand Slam title of the year
5. 2015- Wimbledon- Women Doubles
The day history was made. Sania became the first Indian woman to win the coveted title of a Wimbledon champion. She paired with Hingis again, who would win her tenth title in the category. The final match was played against Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina (Russia) with a score of 5-7, 7-6, 7-5.