Growing up, all Sania Mirza heard from her family was negativity. Her passion was tennis, but her family worried that all the time spent out in the sun would make her too “dark” and she would be unable to find a husband. While it may be unfair to judge an outdated perspective, it was also unfair of that sort of pressure to be put on a young Mirza’s shoulders.
The strong persevere, however, and that’s exactly what Mirza has done. She has now reached her highest world ranking in women’s doubles (6). More importantly to some, she is also married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. Looks like the whole tennis career dream has worked out.
“When I picked up a tennis racquet, a girl wanting to play Wimbledon was unheard of,” said Mirza. “When I did win junior Wimbledon with Alisa Kleybanova in 2003, people apologised and said ‘we’re extremely sorry that we ever said anything’.”
In addition to other Indian tennis stars Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, Mirza will play in this year’s Wimbledon, partnering with Cara Black in the doubles tournament. The duo is seeded No. 4.
So far in her career, Mirza has made over $3.4 million. 11 years into her professional career, Mirza has never been better. Her personal life is going well, her professional tennis career continues to rise and maybe most importantly, she has become a true role model for young girls in India.