Sania Mirza: From Lawn Tennis to Grand Slam Champion

1 year ago / by Team SEEMA
Sania Mirza
Image credits: Ogre A Little Turtle via Flickr

Sania Mirza Malik, nicknamed Sam, has been a professional tennis player since 2003. The 35-year-old is a decorated tennis player, with over fifty wins to her name. She competes in both singles and doubles competitions. Those wins have made her the most famous female tennis player in India, and a well-known name in the international tennis scene.

Sania was born to Imran and Nasima Mirza on November 15th, 1986. That makes her a Scorpio which is fitting given that members of that sign are known for their passion and dedication. Those are certainly two traits that Sania possesses. Her father began teaching her to play lawn tennis when she was just six years old. He couldn’t have known then that he was training one of the best doubles tennis players in the world. 

Sania played tennis throughout her childhood and teen years, while simultaneously focusing on her school work. She excelled in the sport and there was little doubt she would eventually go pro. When she was only twelve years old, Adidas agreed to sponsor her to help cover the costs of her training and competitions. She made the transition to playing at the professional level in early 2003 when she was just 17 years old. 

From then on, Mirza’s career was a whirlwind. In 2004, she won a doubles title at the AP Tourism Hyderabad Open and took home six singles titles from playing the ITF circuit. In 2005, she reached the 3rd round of the Australian Open women’s singles tournament, the 4th round at the US Open, and the 2nd round at Wimbledon. Those triumphs earned her the title of WTA Newcomer of the Year.

The following year, she became the first Indian woman to be seeded at a Grand Slam, where she tried her skill against the best of the best. In 2007, she reached the quarter-finals of both the women’s doubles and the mixed doubles events at the US Open. The following year was a rough season for Mirza, she sustained a wrist injury and had no choice but to withdraw from the French Open and the US Open while she recovered.

Sania’s injury may have temporarily slowed her down, but it didn’t stop her. In 2009 she and her doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi won the Australian Open Mixed Doubles Title, her first Grand Slam. Despite this victory, her wrist did continue to trouble her and many feel it affected her game. From 2009 to 2011 she had a series of poor results in various singles competitions, which led her to switch focus to doubles in 2011. That turned out to be a very good move.

That same year she and her partner at the time, Elena Vesnina, reached the final round of the French Open. This highlighted an upward swing in Sania’s career. The duo reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open and won the mixed doubles title at the French Open in 2012. 

In 2013, Mirza teamed up with Bethanie Mattek-Sands and won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. That glorious victory was sadly followed by a disappointing time at the Grand Slams. Sania parted ways with Mattek-Sands and joined forces with a new partner, Cara Black. Together they reached the semi-finals of the US Open in 2014. That same season, Mirza played in the International Premier Tennis League, and her team won the league.

2015 was a year of experiments for Sania. She started out with Hsieh Su-Wei as a doubles partner, then teamed up once again with Mattek-Sands before finally partnering with Martina Hingis. Mirza and Hingis won at the 2015 Miami Open and the 2015 Indian Wells. Later that year, the pair won at straight sets in Wimbledon, won the US Open, and took home the WTA Finals. It’s definitely safe to say that the duo made an excellent choice when they decided to team up.

In 2016 Mirza and Hingis had 19 straight wins and won the Australian Open. Despite their success as a team, they announced the decision to cease playing together later that year.

It was reported to be a mutual decision, with no hard feelings on either side.

Sania competed in doubles at the Rio Olympics alongside her new tennis partner, Rohan Bopanna. The pair finished just off of the podium with a fourth-place ranking. From there the tennis star had some time off, due first to injury and then later to maternity leave. She returned to the world of tennis in 2020, starting the season by winning her first tournament and earning a new title. 

In March of that year, she helped India reach the Fed Cup Playoffs for the first time ever. They finished second in the region and finished unbeaten across three crucial deciders. In 2021, Mirza took home her 43rd doubles trophy at the Ostrava Open with Shuai Zhang. 

That brings us to the current day. Sania has announced that 2022 will be her last professional season. Fans hope to see her add even more well-earned trophies to her mantle before she leaves the game. 

Now that we’re caught up on Sania Mirza news, you know the story of her career. She’s a truly talented tennis player, but that’s far from all she is. Now that we know the professional, let’s take a look at the woman behind the racquet.

FAQs on Sania Mirza

Where Is Sania Mirza From?

Sania was born in Mumbai, India. She currently lives in Hyderabad, India.

Who Are Her Parents?

Sania’s parents are Imran and Nasima Mirza. Imran was in the construction business when his daughter was born. Nasima worked in the printing business at the time. The couple went on to have another daughter, Anam. Anam Mirza is now the owner of the fashion company, The Label Bazaar. Imran and Nasima had no other children.

When Did Sania Mirza Start Her Career?

Mirza began her professional career in February of 2003. She had been playing golf for years, but waited until she was out of school to turn pro.

Is She Married?

Sania is married to Shoaib Malik, a professional cricket player from Pakistan. He was the captain of the Pakistan national cricket team from 2007 to 2009. He was born on February 1st, 1982, is six feet tall, and was previously married to Ayesha Siddiqui. He and Siddiqui divorced in 2010, the same year that he and Mirza were married.

Sania and Shoaib were married after dating for just five months, which led many fans to worry that they were too impulsive. The union was held on April 12th, 2010. Sania wore her the same red saree that her mother wore on her wedding day.

They welcomed their son, Izhaan Mirza-Malik on October 30th, 2018. The couple was thrilled to welcome this addition to their family. Unfortunately, the little family was temporarily separated in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sania and Izhaan stayed with the Mirza family while Malik stayed with his mother. The couple said it was difficult, but they made it through.

Where Was Sania Mirza Born?

Sania was born in Mumbai, India, on November 15th, 1986.

Does She Have Any Children?

Sania and her husband have one son, named Izhann. He is currently three years old.

What Is the Net Worth of Sania Mirza?

Mirza’s estimated net worth is around 25 million US dollars. That’s about 184 Crore in Indian currency.

Is She on Social Media?

Sania is very active on Instagram, where she has over 8 million followers and has a verified account. She’s also on Twitter, where she 9.1 million people read her tweets. Her Instagram account name is Mirzasaniar and her Twitter handle is MirzaSania.

What Does She Do in Her Free Time?

In her free time, Sania spends time with her family, hits the gym, and enjoys collecting cars. It will be interesting to see what new hobbies she takes up when she leaves the pro golf world.

Fun Facts About Sania

To end our discussion of this world-class athlete, let’s indulge in a few fun facts.

  • She loves to swim and play cricket.
  • Her favorite dessert is ice cream.
  • She loves visiting Dubai and the Maldives.
  • Her car collection includes a Fiat Palio, Toyota Supra, BMW, Porsche, and Range Rover.
  • She doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Her father played tennis in college, which is why he was so determined to teach her.
  • She has been sponsored by Adidas since she was just 12 years old.
  • Sania is a Scorpio.
  • She is 5’8.
  • She was engaged to another a man prior to her marriage, but they decided not to go through with their plans.
  • Her list of awards include a Padma Bhushan, a Padma Shri, and a CNN-IBN Indian of the Year in Sports.

Mirza is many things, a dedicated athlete, a mother, a social media icon, and a fierce woman. While most people choose to focus only on her professional success, it’s worth learning more about the woman behind the awards. Now that you know more about her, it should be easy to understand why she has so many fans around the world.