Happy birthday Sania Mirza | Know controversies surrounding the player
Mirza was referred to as "Pakistan's daughter-in-law" and unfit to be a representative of an Indian state after she was appointed the Telangana state's brand ambassador. The comment referred to Mirza's husband, Shoaib Malik being a Pakistani cricketer.
Lucknow: Indian professional tennis player Sania Mirza is celebrating her 32nd birthday today. Born on 15 November 1986, Sania Mirza has won six Grand Slam titles in her career. From 2003 until her retirement from singles in 2013, she was ranked by the WTA as India's No. 1 player in both the categories.
Throughout her career, Mirza has established herself as by far the most successful Indian tennis player ever and one of the highest-paid and high-profile athletes in the country.
In her singles career, Mirza had notable wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Zvonareva and Marion Bartoli; as well as former world No. 1s Martina Hingis, Dinara Safina, and Victoria Azarenka. She is the highest-ranked female player ever from India, peaking at world No. 27 in mid-2007; however, a major wrist injury forced her to give up her singles career and focus on the doubles circuit.
She has achieved a number of firsts for women's tennis in her native country, including surpassing US$1 million in career earnings (in the end over $6.9 million), winning a singles WTA title, and winning six major titles (three each in women's doubles and in mixed doubles), as well as qualifying for (and eventually winning) the WTA Finals in 2014 alongside Cara Black, defending the title the following year partnering with Martina Hingis.
In 2006, some newspapers reported that Mirza declined to play doubles with Israeli tennis player Shahar Pe'er for fear of protests from India's Muslim community. However, she teamed up with Pe'er at the 2007 WTA Tour of Stanford, California.
On 4 February 2008, Mirza said that she would stop appearing in tennis tournaments held in India, starting with the 2008 Bangalore Open the following month, citing the series of controversies and upon advice by her manager. But Mirza chose to participate at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
After both Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna refused to play in the men's doubles event at the 2012 Olympics with Leander Paes, Paes demanded that he be partnered with Mirza for the mixed doubles event. Mirza accused the All India Tennis Association (AITA) of using her as 'bait' to keep Paes happy as she wanted to play with Bhupathi, with whom she has won 2 grand slams. In the end, Mirza was paired with Paes and the pair lost in the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles.
Sania Mirza, along with Sunitha Rao, was photographed violating the dress code at Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony parade in 2008. In response, Mirza reaffirmed loyalty to the land of her birth—"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."
Mirza was referred to as "Pakistan's daughter-in-law" and unfit to be a representative of an Indian state after she was appointed the Telangana state's brand ambassador. The comment referred to Mirza's husband, Shoaib Malik being a Pakistani cricketer. Telangana chief minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao presented Mirza with INR 1 crore on two separate occasions.