Associated with tennis at the tender age of 6, the Indian style icon Sania Mirza has been the highest ranked Indian tennis player from 2003- 2013. Born in Mumbai and brought up in Hyedrabad, this tennis star is actually the first highest ranked female Indian tennis player and also the first Indian female player whose earnings have surpassed 1 million dollars. Controversies become the part of an individual’s life as soon as he or she becomes famous and rich. Numerous Muslim religious groups as well as Muslim scholars criticized her for the attire she used to sport while playing tennis. Her short skirts actually became talk of the town.Scholars claimed that Islam does not support such dressing attires. When this controversy fell flat, Sania was surrounded by yet another controversy when she married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. Questions were raised as to how she will play as an Indian tennis player when she is married to a man from Pakistan. But Mirza was able to shut these rumours too by settling in Dubai. She continues to play peacefully as an Indian tennis player till date and has proved he love for India on various occasions.

Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza

Time named her as one of the “50 Heroes of Asia in October 2005 and she have also been awarded tow prestigious Indian awards named Padma Shri and Arjuna Award for her contribution to tennis. Sania Mirza is the Indian youth icon not only because of her tennis skills but also because of the way she presented herself in media and public. Her nose ring became so popular that thousands of young India girls started sporting the same trend. What she achieved in her teenage is something any individual can only dream of. She proved that hard work and determination can take you to unquestionable heights. She has stated that her father is behind all her success and he is the one who got Sania inclined towards playing tennis. After realising that Sania could do wonders on the tennis field on an international level he left no stone unturned to train his daughter by hiring the best tennis coaches from different parts of the globe. Unable to pay coaching expenses, her father approached a few business houses for funds and Adidas as well as GVK industries were the ones who offered this monetary help. There was no looking back since then. Sania constantly travels from Dubai to India apart from playing tennis on India’s behalf in different continents. She visits India frequently not only to meet her family but to run her “Sania Mirza Tennis Academy” which was launched in March 2013 with the aim of providing world class tennis training to Indian tennis players. The academy also recognizes rural talents and a few selected are trained at no expenses to brighten India’s future.

Listed as one of the “33 women who made India proud” by Economic Times, the highest Sania has ranked is 7th in Tennis doubles and 27th in tennis singles. Awarded as the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the Research Institute University Chennai, Mirza has actually won 10 singles as well as 13 doubles titles as a junior player. Sania is an inspiration to all the Indian girls as well as the Indian youth. She has been making India and the Indians proud for over a decade now and in an orthodox country like India where girls were considered as being a weaker sex, Sania proved that sex and age does not matter when you are determined to succeed in life. At this early age, she has set an example for young Indian girls by breaking the notion that only male players gain success in games on an international level.

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Kirti Daga

Kirti Daga is a freelancer and an aspiring writer currently working with national and international sport websites