Sania Mirza

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All I want to do is play tennis.

Sania Mirza (born November 15, 1986, in Mumbai) is a professional Indian tennis player. From 2003 through to 2013, she was ranked by the Women's Tennis Association as India's highest ranked player, both in singles and doubles. Mirza was named one of the '50 heroes of Asia' by Time in October 2005. In March 2010, The Economic Times named her in the list of the "33 women who made India proud". Currently, she is the brand ambassador for the Indian state of Telangana


  • Clothing is my personal thing. Every time I get dressed, I fear that it will be the next three days' wear
    • தி இந்து, பெண் இன்று இணைப்பு 27 நவம்பர் (2016)
  • Injuries can end a sportsperson's career and I am glad I have been able to make a comeback and make it to the world's top 10 in doubles and have done reasonably well in mixed doubles. I always believed I had tennis left in me and I am grateful to god for this opportunity.
    • In: Boria Majumdar "I'll play with anyone for my country: Sania Mirza"
  • I will do all I can to win a medal [2012 Olympics]. To see the National flag go up while standing on the podium is the proudest moment in an athlete's life and I will want to experience that for myself in London. Please just keep praying for the entire Indian contingent. We have a really good chance of doing well at these Games and it will provide a huge fillip to Indian Olympic sport if we are all able to perform to potential.
    • In: Boria Majumdar "I'll play with anyone for my country: Sania Mirza"
I have a passion for playing tennis and enjoy the workload and struggles of performing in this amazing global sport.
  • A defeat at any stage, whether in the first round or in the final of a major tournament, is always disappointing. But as sportsmen, we learn to pick ourselves up to bounce back and move on for the next challenge.
    • In Zee News: "Winning Grand Slams is Sania's motivation after London Games"
  • One of the thrills of playing at the top tennis centres of the world is to see the Indian flag go up whenever I`m participating in these events. That's enough motivation for any Indian who has the opportunity to perform at these tournaments.
    • In Zee News: "Winning Grand Slams is Sania's motivation after London Games"
  • It's been 20 years since I started playing tennis and I've spent a decade playing singles and doubles professionally. I still enjoy singles and may play in an occasional tournament or at the Fed Cup if my country needs me. But I think the time has now come for me to completely shift my focus onto doubles.
    • In Zee News: "Winning Grand Slams is Sania's motivation after London Games"
  • The honour and respect that a country earns by being represented at mega-sporting events like the Grand Slams has to be seen to be believed, experienced to be fully understood.
    • In: Arun Sharma"Sachin's my inspiration - he's also excellent at tennis: Sania Mirza"
  • Well, I've grown up on the tennis circuit which has friendships with people from diverse religions, races, backgrounds and scores of different countries across the globe. I think this experience broadened my horizons. I can comfortably embrace relationships on a personal level while looking beyond narrow constraints.
    • In: Arun Sharma "Sachin's my inspiration - he's also excellent at tennis: Sania Mirza"
  • One win and you’re on top of the world. Lose in the first round of the next tournament; you’re back to reality.
    • In: Sharmistha Chaudhuri "Successful people are targeted; I’m more careful now: Sania Mirza"
  • There's no doubt that my forehand and backhand can match anyone, it's about the place that they're put in. I can hit the ball as hard as anyone can, but I think it's more about where I'm hitting the ball. Instead of 90 mph it can just be a 50 mph forehand, but the placement is more important. So I've been working on that a lot more. When you're working on things, maybe your performance drops a little bit or you're trying new things in every tournament you're going in so that's just a process of being an athlete because you're learning, you're adding new things to your game. When I sit with my notes, for instance, instead of hitting a hard forehand return, I would like to hit an angled forehand return instead.
  • My serve used to be a weakness and I don't think it's a weakness anymore. I'm trying to come a lot more to the net and trying to be more offensive — not in terms of hitting the ball harder, which I think is quite hard for me to hit it any harder than I do — but in terms of building the point and coming to the net and being offensive at the net. A lot of the top girls barely do (come to net) except like Mauresmo or Henin does it a little bit, but a lot of girls don't do it.
    • In: Tennis Week "The Tennis Week Interview: Sania Mirza"
  • Six-year-old girls in a place like Hyderabad did not play; tennis was a recreation like badminton or gardening. So I draw inspiration from my parents. Steffi Graf has always been my tennis idol; always Steffi Graf. Just the way she was and the way she carried herself on the court and off the court. She does inspire me today. Everyone asks me "Who is your favorite tennis player?" And I always say "Steffi Graf." I just cannot imagine anyone being better than her, you know? I think a lot of people love Steffi Graf for the way she was on and off the court.
    • In: Tennis Week "The Tennis Week Interview: Sania Mirza"
  • Well, I'm not a yoga person. I've been told to try yoga. I just can't get myself to do yoga. I pray four or five times a day so it's about 10 minutes of total concentration... Also because when you're trying to focus only on God, you're trying to get everything else out of your head and just have that single focus. Trust me, it's very hard to do that four or five times a day. I mean, it's hard enough to do it once a day, but four or five times a day to just switch off the world and focus everything on God is difficult to do, and I do try to do that. I think that's one of the reasons yoga is not part of my routine and I feel this is better because I am actually being constructive, but in yoga I'm just going blank.
    • In: Tennis Week "The Tennis Week Interview: Sania Mirza"
  • Of all the sports I've seen, I think tennis is the most competitive sport in the world. Because we are playing week after week, 36 weeks a year competing against the same players over and over again.
    • In: Tennis Week "The Tennis Week Interview: Sania Mirza"
  • We players are as normal human beings as anyone else, and we also have the right to live a normal life. I don't understand why people talk so much about the way we dress up, how we walk, what we eat, and every little detail of ours. Players are the real heroes. Sports have both respect and fame, and I am fortunate enough to be a sportsperson.
    • In: Ekta Yadav "Bhopal's adulation has energised me: Sania Mirza"
  • Whether it is tennis or any other sport, the situation for women now is far better than it was 10 years ago when I had started playing. Now, people support and promote their daughters to play and take up sports as their career. It wasn't the case during my time. I am glad that things are looking better for girls. Taking a step in this direction, I too have opened my training academy in Hyderabad. Sport for girls in India is in great shape now.
    • In: Ekta Yadav "Bhopal's adulation has energised me: Sania Mirza"
  • In life there's stuff you can control and stuff you can't. There's nothing you can do about it. No point getting angry and upset because it's beyond your control. As a professional athlete, you learn to roll with the punches.
  • I'm partial to stilettos. Stilettos and long, flowing dresses are my new favourites. I like my dresses in lively shades these days, a teal or bright mix of orange and red.
    • In: Prajwal Hegde "I am enjoying my partnership with Cara Black: Sania Mirza"
  • When I got married I thought I would have kids early, but the more I'm playing, the more I'm enjoying it. I really enjoy competing.
    • In: Prajwal Hegde "I am enjoying my partnership with Cara Black: Sania Mirza"
  • Leaves me with no choice but to laugh. I am pretty sure these are not the pre-wedding jitters or butterflies in the stomach my married cousins were talking about!
    • In: PTI "Me and my family know the truth: Sania"
  • When a woman wants to do something on her own way, she is criticized, dubbed as a rebel. I (too) was stated an arrogant. However, I stuck to my guns and today I am at this place. We have to fight in order to move forward in this men's world.
    • In: PTI "Sania for change of attitude towards women in sports"
  • As I came to the lime light, the media asked me many questions. A lot many moral policing... 'Wear this, wear that, why a T-shirt?' Everybody has the right to form their opinions, and I have the right to ignore them.
    • In: PTI "Sania for change of attitude towards women in sports"

India's most wanted[edit]

In: Amelia Gentleman India's most wanted,The Guardian, 5 February 2006

  • The facilities at that point in India were not up to international standards and the lack of tennis culture did make things more difficult.
    • When she started learning to play tennis
  • I don't think I have made any deliberate or conscious attempt to represent the new generation. I am what I am.
    • At age 19
  • The most difficult element is perhaps the lack of privacy in my life.
  • Yes, I'm a practising Muslim, but I don't understand why only I'm asked about my religion. Everyone's got a religion out there. I wonder why no one else is asked about it.
    • About her religion becoming an issue every time she plays
  • The media is only concerned with trying to sell themselves through concocted sensationalism. I try to avoid them and rarely read their concocted stories.
    • Her expression of indignation, common to all emerging celebrities
  • You can either agree with me, or be wrong.
    • Her T-shirts slogan

About Sania Mirza[edit]

Doubles match with Vesnia
  • She is the pride of Hyderabad and hoped she would soon become No 1 player from her fifth position. The government would extend all support to provide her best training and other facilities.
She and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik tied the nuptial knot on Monday (April 12) as the two families advanced the high-profile marriage ...
  • She is the highest ranked female tennis player ever from India, with a career high ranking of 27 in singles and 7 in doubles. She knows from her early experiences about the hardships that tennis players from India have to endure in order to become a successful professional. She had a long cherished vision for Tennis in India. The Vision - "To pave a way for Indian Tennis by training and promoting urban and rural talent and to enable our players to make a significant mark in the world of international tennis."

Sania Mirza is failing to fly the flag for India[edit]

A couple of weeks ago, the 21-year-old was photographed with her feet up while watching a colleague playing in an international exhibition match in Perth, and the proximity of her toes to a nearby Indian flag raised temperatures in her home state to vindaloo levels. - Martin Johnson
  • A High Court lawyer filed a case for her arrest (without bail) and a three-year jail sentence... [case] under something called the "Prevention Of Insult To The National Honour Act", citing "disrespect" to the national flag. India's predilection for red tape, taught to them by the Imperial British, but since refined to gargantuan levels, means that by the time the case gets to court she will probably be a grandmother, but it's a bit of worry nonetheless. When Sania, who is Shia Muslim, first bared her thighs on a tennis court, people took to the streets to burn effigies of her, although this in itself is such a common event in India that it more or less doubles the smog levels.
    • Martin Johnson in:"Sania Mirza is failing to fly the flag for India"

India's most wanted[edit]

With her diamond nose stud and multiple ear-piercings, she brought glamour to the game. Advertisers and corporate sponsors rushed to sign her and soon her face was selling. - Amelia Gentleman
She is a very talented player. I see a very good future for her. - Serena Williams.
She is fearless about going for the shots. She just believes that all her shots will go in. - John McEnroe.

Amelia Gentleman, in: India's most wanted,The Guardian, 5 February 2006

  • On 12 February 2005 thousands of people started gathering at dawn for the final of the Hyderabad Open [to watch Sania in the final] and, by 10 in the morning, so dense were the crowds outside that it was difficult to get into the Fateh Maidan complex. There for the match were film stars from south India as well as local government officials; corporate VIPs from Mumbai, labourers from nearby towns and families who had travelled hundreds of miles from Delhi.
  • Her breezy optimism as she took on some of the world's top players endeared her to her compatriots: for just as India was beginning to emerge as a world power, here was a young woman displaying a brazen determination to shake off the shackles of the underdog. Off-court, too, her confidence was striking. Confounding stereotypes of demure and retiring Indian femininity, she delighted in brash displays of adolescent attitude.
  • The dress she wears on the tennis court not only doesn't cover large parts of her body but leaves nothing to the imagination of voyeurs. She will undoubtedly be a corrupting influence.
    • Maulana Hasheeb-ul-Hasan Siddiqui, a Muslim cleric
  • We are proud of her achievement. In India there are not many other young female role models like her.
    • Ahmed Hassan Imran, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Bengal
  • She proves that young Muslim girls can make a mark if they are given the right chances... Many Muslims in India are economically and educationally backward; she has given the community new hope.
    • Akhtarul Wasey, director of the Zakir Husain Institute for Islamic Studies in Delhi

  • She is fearless about going for the shots. She just believes that all her shots will go in.
  • She is very typical of her generation - these new teenagers who are not quite the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll generation of Sixties America but who are very in your face, very confident and very brash. This kind of attitude is not unique to her: you see teenagers like her in the streets. She represents a new India that doesn't care what anyone thinks.
  • She is betraying both nations, she neither lives here (India) nor in Pakistan, but she resides in Dubai. We request the Indian Government not to allow Sania to represent India and let her reside in Dubai.

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