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Sania Mirza (Sport)

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Artist / Photographer: Striker
Tags: tennis (57 pics)

indian tennis sensation and glamour girl sania mirza

Sania Mirza (Urdu: ثانیہ مرزا), born Nov. 15, 1986 (33 years ago), is an Indian tennis player. She began her tennis career in 2003 (16 years ago). In 2004 (15 years ago) she was awarded the Arjuna award by the Indian Government. She is known for her powerful forehand ground strokes.

Early life
Mirza was born to Imran Mirza, a sports journalist and his wife Nasima in Mumbai, India. She was brought up in Hyderabad in a religious Shia Muslim family. Mirza began playing tennis at the age of six, turning professional in 2003 (16 years ago). She was trained by her father and other family members. She attended Nasr school in Hyderabad and later graduated from St. Mary's College.

Career
In Apr. 2003 (16 years ago), Mirza made her debut in the India Fed Cup team, winning all three singles matches. She also won the 2003 (16 years ago) Wimbledon Championships Girls' Doubles title, teaming up with Alisa Kleybanova of Russia.

Mirza is the highest ranked female tennis player ever from India, with a career high ranking of 27 in singles and 18 in doubles. She is the first Indian woman to be seeded in a Grand Slam tennis tournament. She was the first Indian woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament at the 2005 (14 years ago) U.S. Open, defeating Mashona Washington, Maria Elena Camerin and Marion Bartoli. In winning, with Mahesh Bhupathi, the mixed doubles event at the 2009 (10 years ago) Australian Open, she became the first Indian woman to win a Grand Slam title.

In 2005 (14 years ago), Mirza reached the third round of the Australian Open, losing to eventual champion Serena Williams. On Feb. 12, 2005 (14 years ago), she became the first Indian woman to win a WTA singles title, defeating Alyona Bondarenko of Ukraine in the Hyderabad Open Finals. As of sep. 2006 (13 years ago), Mirza has notched up three top 10 wins; against Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova and Martina Hingis. At the 2006 (13 years ago) Doha Asian Games, Mirza won the silver in the women's singles category and the gold in the mixed doubles partnering Leander Paes. She was also part of the Indian women's team that won the silver in the team event.

In 2006 (13 years ago), Mirza was awarded a Padma Shri, India's fourth highest honor for her achievements as a tennis player.

Mirza had had the best results of her career during the 2007 (12 years ago) summer hardcourt season, finishing eighth in the 2007 (12 years ago) U.S. Open Series standings. She reached the final of the Bank of the West Classic and won the doubles event with Shahar Pe'er, and reached the quarterfinals of the Tier 1 Acura Classic.

At the 2007 (12 years ago) U.S. Open, she reached the third round before losing to Anna Chakvetadze for the third time in recent weeks. She fared 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, including a win over number two seeds Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur.

Mirza received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the MGR Educational and Research Institute University in Chennai on 2008-12-11. Her niece, Sonia Baig Mirza, studies there.

2008
Mirza reached the quarter-finals at Hobart as No. 6 seed. She lost to Flavia Pennetta in three sets. She reached the third round at the Australian Open as No.31 seed, where she lost to No.8 seed Venus Williams 7–6(0) 6–4, having led 5–3 in the first set. She was runner-up in the Australian Open mixed doubles partnering Mahesh Bhupathi where they lost 7–6(4), 6–4 to Sun Tiantian and Nenad Zimonjić.

She withdrew from the Pattaya Open because of a left adductor strain.

Mirza reached the 4r at Indian Wells as No.21 seed, defeating No.9 seed Shahar Pe'er en route, but lost to No.5 seed Daniela Hantuchová (9 pics).

At the 2008 (11 years ago) Wimbledon Championships, as No.32 seed, Mirza was defeated by qualifier María José Martínez Sánchez, 6–0, 4–6, 9–7, having had several match points.

Mirza was eliminated in the first round of the 2008 (11 years ago) Beijing Olympics when she retired in her match against Iveta Benešová because of a right wrist injury. Throughout 2008 (11 years ago), Mirza was plagued by a slew of wrist injuries, requiring her to withdraw from several matches including those of the Roland Garros and US Open Grand Slams.

2009
Mirza picked up her first Grand Slam title at the 2009 (10 years ago) Australian Open. Partnered with Mahesh Bhupathi, she won the mixed doubles title beating Nathalie Dechy (France) and Andy Ram (Israel) 6–3, 6–1 in the final in Melbourne. She then entered the Pattaya Women's Open Tournament in Bangkok where she reached the finals after a string of good performances. She lost the finals to Vera Zvonareva 7–5, 6–1. She made the semis in doubles in the same tournament.

Mirza then competed in the BNP Paribas Open where she lost in the second round to Flavia Pennetta. She then participated in the Miami Masters and lost to Mathilde Johansson of France in the first round. Mirza and her doubles partner Chia-jung Chuang of Chinese Taipei made the semifinals of the doubles event. Mirza lost in the first round of the MPS Group Championships but won the doubles title with Chuang. She lost in the first round at Roland Garros, losing to Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva. She also lost in the second round of the doubles (with Chuang) and mixed doubles (with Mahesh Bhupathi). She participated in the 2009 (10 years ago) AEGON Classic and reached the semifinals, losing to Magdaléna Rybáriková of Slovakia 3–6,6–0,6–3, who eventually won the title.

Mirza defeated Anna-Lena Grönefeld in the first round of the 2009 (10 years ago) Wimbledon Championships. She then fell to #28 Sorana Cîrstea in the second round. She competed in and won the Lexington Challenger event, defeating top seed Julie Coin of France in the final. She also reached the final of the ITF event in Vancouver but lost to Stéphanie Dubois of Canada. Playing in the U.S Open, she defeated Olga Govortsova in the first round but lost 6–0, 6–0 to 10th seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy. She also lost in the second round of the doubles event (partnering Francesca Schiavone) to Shahar Pe'er and Gisela Dulko.

Mirza successfully qualified for the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo but lost in the first round to Zheng Jie. Mirza won the first set but could not hold the lead, eventually losing to the Chinese player 7–5, 2–6, 3–6.

At Osaka, Mirza won her first round match against 5th seed Shahar Pe'er 3–6, 6–3, 6–4. Mirza then defeated Viktoriya Kutuzova 6–4, 6–3 and in the quarterfinal she defeated 2nd seed Marion Bartoli 6–4, 2–0 by retirement. Bartoli conceded her match and Mirza moved on to the semifinal to meet 4th seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy.


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