Sania Mirza is an Indian Tennis Player. She is the recipient of the Padma Shri, Arjuna Award, and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. She is one of the highest-paid and high-profile athletes in India.
Sania Mirza was born on 15 November 1986 (age 36 years; as of 2022) in Mumbai. Her zodiac sign is Scorpio.
Her family migrated to the US when she was just 4 years old and returned to India after 2 years. Sania grew up in Hyderabad along with her sister. She attended Hyderabad’s Nasr School and went to St. Mary’s College to pursue her graduation. Mirza cleared her SSC examination with first division securing 63% marks. At the age of 6, she started playing tennis. Initially, her father, Imran Mirza, coached her but later she joined Nizam Club Hyderabad to receive her training. Sania won 10 singles and 13 doubles as a junior player. In 2008, Mirza was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from MGR Educational and Research Institute in Chennai. In addition to tennis, she is also very good at cricket and swimming. After receiving professional training in tennis from Sinnet Tennis Academy in Secunderabad, Mirza moved to the Ace Tennis Academy in the United States.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Dark Brown
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Family, Caste & Husband
Sania Mirza belongs to a Sunni Muslim Family and follows Islam. Her father, Imran Mirza, is a former sports journalist who ran a sports magazine called “Sports Call” in Hyderabad. Later, he ventured into a printing press business and thereafter became a builder. Her mother’s name is Nasima Mirza. She has a younger sister, Anam Mirza, who is the owner of the fashion brand ‘The Label Bazaar.’
Sania got engaged to her childhood friend, Sohrab Mirza, a businessman, but unfortunately, they parted ways due to some misunderstandings.
Sania was in a relationship with the Pakistani cricketer, Shoaib Malik. The couple got married after five months of courtship. They have a son, Izhaan Mirza Malik, who was born in October 2018.
Sania Mirza started her tennis career in 2003 in the AP Tourism Hyderabad Open in which she gave a tough competition to Nicole Pratt in round one but lost in three sets. Subsequently, she made a win over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Zvonareva, Marion Bartoli; as well as former world No. 1s Martina Hingis, Dinara Safina, and Victoria Azarenka in her singles career. Sania, further partnered with Alisa Kleybanova and won the 2003 Wimbledon Championships Girls’ Doubles title. She then reached the semifinals of the 2003 US Open Girls’ Doubles. By mid-2007, Sania reached the world rank #27 in the singles. However, a major wrist injury forced her to give up her singles career and focus on the doubles championships. In 2009, she won her first grand slam at the Australian Open with Mahesh Bhupathi. She followed it by winning two more grand slams at the French Open and the US Open. In all, she has received 6 Grand Slam titles in her career.
In 2013, she became the first South Asian woman to become the UN Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia. In the following year, Sania was made the brand ambassador of Telangana State. She has even endorsed brands like Vita, Adidas, and Sprite.
In 2015, Sania won the Wimbledon Championships along with the Swiss tennis player Martina Hingis. She also achieved #1 WTA rank in the women’s doubles event. Mirza has won a total of 14 medals, out of which 6 are gold at the three major sports events, namely, the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games, and the Afro-Asian Games.
On 18 January 2020, Sania made a winning return to the WTA Tour at the Hobart International with Ukrainian Nadiia Kichenok, picking up her 42nd WTA doubles title and the first since winning the women’s doubles in Brisbane in 2017. It was also her first win after becoming a mother. On 19 January 2022, at the post-match press conference of the Australian Open women’s doubles first round, which she lost with partner Nadiia Kichenok, Mirza announced that she will hang her racquet at the end of the 2022 season as her body was ‘wearing out,’ and the motivation and energy required to continue her game was not the same anymore. The Hindu She said,
My body is wearing down. My knee was really hurting today and I’m not saying that’s the reason we lost but I do think that it is taking time to recover as I’m getting older. Also for me to find that motivation everyday to come out, the energy is not the same anymore. Right this minute, it’s there but there are days where I don’t feel like doing that. I’ve always said that I will play until I enjoy that grind, the process and not just winning but you have to enjoy the process and I am not sure I’m enjoying it anymore.”
Sania Mirza played her last match at Wimbledon on 6 July 2022. She partnered with Croatia’s Mate Pavic and lost the semi-final to defending champions Neal Skupski and Desirae Krawczyk in the mixed doubles event in which they went down 6-4 5-7 4-6 in two hours 16 minutes. The Times of India
In January 2023, Sania Mirza announced that the Dubai Tennis Championships 2023 would mark her last event as a professional tennis player. She revealed this in an interview after she pulled out of the US Open 2022. She said,
Honestly, I like to do things on my own terms. So I don’t want to be forced out by injury. I really don’t have the capacity in my mind to emotionally push that much anymore. Priorities change, and now my priority is not to push my body to the limit every single day.” Olympics
- In 2006, some newspapers claimed that Mirza denied playing the doubles with the Israeli tennis player, Shahar Pe’er because of the fear of protests from the Indian Muslim Community. However, later, she teamed up with Pe’er at the 2007 WTA Tour of Stanford, California.
- A case was filed against Sania by a lawyer in 2008 who accused her of showing disrespect to the national flag. After facing huge criticism for her act, Mirza announced that she would not appear in tennis competitions in her native country any further.
- In 2009, Sania got engaged to her childhood friend Sohrab Mirza. However, she attracted controversy when her engagement broke in the same year.
- When Rohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi refused to play in the men’s doubles event at the 2012 Olympics with Leander Pars, Paes demanded Sania as his partner for the mixed doubles event. Sania then accused the All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) of using her as a ‘bait’ to keep Leander happy. At last, the duo lost the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles.
- Sania was photographed violating the dress code at the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Parade in 2008.
- Mirza is often referred to as the ‘Daughter-in-law of Pakistan’ in a sarcastic way for being the wife of the Pakistani cricketer, Shoaib Malik.
- In June 2019, Sania landed into a war of words on Twitter with the Pakistani actress, Veena Malik. When Mirza posted a video of her son, husband, and a few members of the Pakistan cricket team at the Sheesha place, Veena commented “Sania, I am actually so worried for the kid. You guys took him to a sheesha place isn’t it Hazardous? Also as far as I know Archie’s is all about junk food which isn’t good for athletes/Boys. You must know well as you are mother and athlete yourself?” Sania got infuriated after looking at her comment and replied that she cares about her son a lot more than anybody else does.
Awards & Honours
- Arjuna Award (2004)
- WTA Newcomer of the Year (2005)
- Padma Shri (2006)
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2015)
- Padma Bhushan (2016)
- Global Icon of the Year at 2016 NRI of the Year Awards, New Delhi (2016)
Her net worth is estimated to be $8 million.
Sania’s car collection includes a Fiat Palio signed by Sachin Tendulkar, Toyota Supra, BMW, Porsche, and a Range Rover.
- Food: Hyderabadi Biryani
- Films: Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Phool Aur Kaante, Mohra, Maine Pyaar Kiya, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
- Cricketer: Yuvraj Singh
- Tennis Players: Roger Federer, Martina Hingis
- Perfumes: Purplelight, Dolce
- Destinations: London, Paris, Thailand
- Singer: Asha Bhosle
- Colour: Red
- Her hobbies include swimming and travelling.
- Sania was the most searched Indian sportsperson in the year 2010 as per the Google trends.
- Mirza is a huge fan of the tennis player, Steffi Graf.
- She follows a non-vegetarian diet.
- She is very passionate about cats.
- Sania is a movie buff and according to her, she has seen the film “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham” more than 30 times.
- At the age of 15, Sania made some significant wins in Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, and in Manila, Philippines.
- In 2014, a fatwa was issued in her name putting objections on her outfit in the tennis courts.
- Sania is good friends with the Bollywood director and producer, Farah Khan.
- Sania is the first Indian tennis player to have won prize money more than 1 million US dollars.
- She has featured on the covers of various magazines including Verve, Time Magazine, Outlook Splurge, and Better Homes and Gardens.
- Sania is the first Indian woman to win a tennis WTA title. She was also ranked India’s number 1 player from the year 2003 to 2013.
- When Sania was going through the struggle phase of her life, it was Adidas that sponsored her training and the sports lady has repaid the company by becoming one of its brand ambassadors.
- She has walked the ramp for fashion designer Moni Agarwal at IIJW.
- Her friends and family fondly call her Sam.
- Sania resides at a house in Hyderabad’s Film Nagar.
- Mirza received her initial training in tennis from CK Bhupati, father of Mahesh Bhupathi.
- Sania got a chance to represent India at the 2008 Summer Olympics. However, she got eliminated from the singles due to a right wrist injury. The injury further caused her to withdraw her name from various other matches like the French Open and US Open Grand Slams.
- On 7 June 2012, Sania Mirza won the French Open Mixed Doubles along with Mahesh Bhupathi.
- In 2014, Sania was appointed as the brand ambassador of the Telangana State by the state government.
- In the same year, Mirza became the first South Asian woman to be appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia.
- Sania Mirza paired up with Swiss legend Martina Hingis to mark significant wins including the Family Circle Cup, a victory that made history; making Mirza the first Indian to be ranked world No. 1 in WTA’s doubles rankings. After being asked about her wins, Mirza said-
It’s a dream for every kid to be No. 1 one day.”
- Her father, Imran Mirza, revealed during an interview that each member of his family had played cricket at some point in their lives.
- In July 2021, she became the third Indian to get Dubai Golden Visa after Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt. This visa allows her to have a 10-year residency in the UAE along with her husband, Shoaib Malik. The Times of India
- In March 2023, Royal Challengers Bangalore appointed her as a team mentor for Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023. Although some cricket fans didn’t find it a good decision as they believed a former cricketer was the best choice for the role, Sania, in an interview, talked about the logic behind this and said,
They said I would be working with young girls. Young girls, who are probably for the first time facing this kind of spotlight with the kind of money riding on them, the kind of pressure. A lot of the girls haven’t really faced that ever. I have faced that for the last 20 years of my life and they were like ‘we just want you to help them cope with that’. That was such a brilliant idea for me as well.” Hindustan Times