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Friday, April 22, 2011

First Indian Woman To Win Wta Tennis Tournament

Sania Mirza  (born 15 November 1986, in Mumbai, India) is a professional Indian tennis player. She began her tennis career in 2003. She is well-known for her powerful forehand ground strokes. She is currently ranked as No.73 in the world according to the Women's Tennis Association singles rankings, and reached career high ranking of World No. 27 on the 27 August 2007. She is the first ever Indian to break into the top 30 WTA rankings.

In 2004 she was awarded the Arjuna award by the Indian Government. In 2006, Mirza was awarded a Padma Shri, India's fourth highest honor for her achievements as a tennis player. In March 2010, The Economic Times named Mirza in the list of the "33 women who made India proud".

Mirza was born to Imran Mirza, a sports journalist, and his wife Nasima in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She was brought up in Hyderabad in a religious family.Mirza began playing tennis at the age of six, turning professional in 2003. She was trained by her father and other family members. She attended Nasr school in Hyderabad and later graduated from St. Mary's College.

In April 2003, Mirza made her debut in the India Fed Cup team, winning all three singles matches. She also won the 2003 Wimbledon Championships Girls' Doubles title, teaming up with Alisa Kleybanova of Russia.

Mirza is the highest ranked female tennis player ever from India, with a career high ranking of 27 in singles and 18 in doubles. She is the first Indian woman to be seeded in a Grand Slam tennis tournament. She was the first Indian woman to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament at the 2005 U.S. Open, defeating Mashona Washington, Maria Elena Camerin and Marion Bartoli. In winning, with Mahesh Bhupathi, the mixed doubles event at the 2009 Australian Open, she became the first Indian woman to win a Grand Slam title.

In 2005, Mirza reached the third round of the Australian Open, losing to eventual champion Serena Williams. On 12 February 2005, she became the first Indian woman to win a WTA singles title, defeating Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine in the Hyderabad Open Finals. As of September 2006, Mirza has notched up three top 10 wins; against Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova and Martina Hingis. At the 2006 Doha Asian Games, Mirza won the silver in the women's singles category and the gold in the mixed doubles partnering Leander Paes. She was also part of the Indian women's team that won the silver in the team event.

Mirza had had the best results of her career during the 2007 summer hardcourt season, finishing eighth in the 2007 U.S. Open Series standings. She reached the final of the Bank of the West Classic and won the doubles event with Shahar Pe'er, and reached the quarterfinals of the Tier 1 Acura Classic.

At the 2007 U.S. Open, she reached the third round before losing to Anna Chakvetadze for the third time in recent weeks. She fared much better in the doubles, reaching the quarterfinals in mixed with her partner Mahesh Bhupathi and the quarterfinals in the women's doubles with Bethanie Mattek, including a win over number two seeds Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur.

Mirza received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the MGR Educational and Research Institute University in Chennai on 2008-12-11.Her niece, Sonia Baig Mirza, studies there.

Mirza reached the quarter-finals at Hobart as No. 6 seed. She lost to Flavia Pennetta in three sets. She reached the third round at the Australian Open as No.31 seed, where she lost to No.8 seed Venus Williams 7–6(0) 6–4, having led 5–3 in the first set. She was runner-up in the Australian Open mixed doubles partnering Mahesh Bhupathi where they lost 7–6(4), 6–4 to Sun Tiantian and Nenad Zimonjić.

She withdrew from the Pattaya Open because of a left adductor strain.Mirza reached the 4r at Indian Wells as No.21 seed, defeating No.9 seed Shahar Pe'er en route, but lost to No.5 seed Daniela Hantuchová.At the 2008 Wimbledon Championships, as No.32 seed, Mirza was defeated by qualifier María José Martínez Sánchez, 6–0, 4–6, 9–7, having had several match points.

Mirza was eliminated in the first round of the 2008 Beijing Olympics when she retired in her match against Iveta Benešová because of a right wrist injury. She made it through the first round at Women's Doubles in Beijing with Sunitha Rao, but lost in the second round to Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina. Throughout 2008, Mirza was plagued by a slew of wrist injuries, requiring her to withdraw from several matches including those of the Roland Garros and US Open Grand Slams.

Mirza began her year 2009 Moorilla Hobart International where she competed only in doubles partnering Francesca Schiavone, they lost in quarterfinal.At 2009 Australian Open she win match against Marta Domachowska in first round, next she loss match against 10th seed Nadia Petrova. In doubles she lost in first round partnering Vania King. But in mixed doubles Sania Mirza picked up her first Grand Slam title at the 2009 Australian Open. Partnered with Mahesh Bhupathi, she beat Nathalie Dechy (France) and Andy Ram  6–3, 6–1 in the final in Melbourne. She then entered the Pattaya Women's Open Tournament in Bangkok where she reached the finals after a string of good performances. She lost the finals to Vera Zvonareva 7–5, 6–1. She made the semis in doubles in the same tournament.

Mirza then competed in the BNP Paribas Open where she lost in the second round to Flavia Pennetta. She then participated in the Miami Masters and lost to Mathilde Johansson of France in the first round. Mirza and her doubles partner Chia-jung Chuang of Chinese Taipei made the semifinals of the doubles event. Mirza lost in the first round of the MPS Group Championships but won the doubles title with Chuang. She lost in the first round at Roland Garros, losing to Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva. She also lost in the second round of the doubles (with Chuang) and mixed doubles . She participated in the 2009 AEGON Classic and reached the semifinals, losing to Magdaléna Rybáriková of Slovakia 3–6,6–0,6–3, who eventually won the title.

Mirza defeated Anna-Lena Grönefeld in the first round of the 2009 Wimbledon Championships. She then fell to #28 Sorana Cîrstea in the second round. She competed in and won the Lexington Challenger event, defeating top seed Julie Coin of France in the final. She also reached the final of the ITF event in Vancouver but lost to Stéphanie Dubois of Canada. Playing in the U.S Open, she defeated Olga Govortsova in the first round but lost 6–0, 6–0 to 10th seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy. She also lost in the second round of the doubles event to Shahar Pe'er and Gisela Dulko.

Mirza successfully qualified for the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo but lost in the first round to Zheng Jie. Mirza won the first set but could not hold the lead, eventually losing to the Chinese player 7–5, 2–6, 3–6.At Osaka, Mirza won her first round match against 5th seed Shahar Pe'er 3–6, 6–3, 6–4. Mirza then defeated Viktoriya Kutuzova 6–4, 6–3 and in the quarterfinal she defeated 2nd seed Marion Bartoli 6–4, 2–0 by retirement. Bartoli conceded her match and Mirza moved on to the semifinal to meet 4th seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy.

Mirza began her year at the ASB Classic in Auckland. She won her first round match against Stefanie Vögele in three sets, but was crushed by 4th seed Francesca Schiavone in the second round. Mirza then two first-round losses at the Moorilla Hobart International and the Australian Open.In February, Sania competed in the 2010 PTT Pattaya Open as the 6th seed, but lost to Tatjana Malek 6–3, 4–6, 3–6. She then played in the Dubai Tennis Championships but suffered a first round deficit to Anabel Medina Garrigues. Sania was forced to withdraw from the Sony Ericcson Open and BNP Paribas Open due to a right wrist injury. This injury also caused her to pull out of the French Open.

She returned at the AEGON Classic, where she lost in the second round to Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn in the three sets. Mirza then fell in the qualifying at Eastbourne, and lost in the first round of Wimbledon.Her bad form continued, as she lost in the qualifying rounds of both the Cincinnati Masters and the Rogers Cup.She then competed at the 2010 US Open – Women's Singles Qualifying where she won three straight matches. She defeated Ksenia Lykina, Elena Bovina, Catalina Castaño to qualify for the main draw. In main draw she defeated qualifier Michelle Larcher De Brito 6-3,6-2. In next round she went down to 20th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2,6-4.

In September Sania competed in the 2010 Guangzhou International Women's Open. In first round she defeated Katie O'Brien 6-3,1-6,6-2. Next she defeated 3rd seed Akgul Amanmuradova 6-4,6-3 to reach quarterfinal, where she lost fighting to Shuai Zhang 6-4,1-6,6-4. In 2010 Guangzhou International Women's Open she won Doubles title partnering Edina Gallovits.

In 2010 Tashkent Open she lost in first round to Ekaterina Bychkova.In October, she represented India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, as the 2nd seed. She defeated Brittany Teei, Marina Erakovic, and Olivia Rogowska before losing to Australia's Anastasia Rodionova in the final. In doubles, she partnered with India's Rushmi Chakravarthi, losing in the semifinals to Anastasia Rodionova and Sally Peers. Then for the Bronze Medal's match, Sania Mirza and Rushmi Chakravarthi beat another Indian team of Poojashree Venkatesha and Nirupama Vaidyanathan.

Mirza lost in the qualifying round of 2010 BGL Luxembourg Open and first round of ITF event in Taipai.

In November, she represented India at the 2010 Asian Games. The unseeded Indian defeated Venise Wing Yau Chan in first round. Next she defeated 6th seed Shuai Zhang in straight sets 6-2,6-2 to enter into quarterfinal. In quarterfinal Mirza won against 2nd seed Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-2,6-3 to move in semi final, where she went down fighting to 3rd seed Akgul Amanmuradova 7-6(7),3-6,4-6 and won Bronze Medal in singles. In Mixed Doubles she partnered with India's Vishnu Vardhan losing in the finals to Yung-Jan Chan and Tsung-Hua Yang, win Silver Medal.

In December she competed at 2010 ITF event in Dubai. In first round she defeated 6th seed Ksenia Pervak 6-2,6-3. Then she eaisly defeated Korina Perkovic 6-1,6-2 to move into quarterfinal. In quarterfinal she face Top seed Julia Görges of Germany. She beat her in straight sets 6-1,7-6(8) and in semi final she won against 8th seed Evgeniya Rodina 6-3,4-6,6-4 to reach final. In final match she beat 5th seed Bojana Jovanovski 4-6,6-3,6-0 to clinch singles title.

Mirza started her 2011 ranked World no. 141.

Mirza started her year with the ASB Classic Open in Auckland. She needed one more win to qualify for the tournament, but lost in three sets against Sabine Lisicki. In doubles, she partnered Renata Voracova of Czech Republic and reached the semifinals, but lost to Katarina Srebotnik and Kveta Peschke.

She then competed at the 2011 Australian Open – Women's Singles Qualifying where she won three straight matches to qualify for the main draw. In the first round she went down fighting to former world no. 1 Justine Henin 5–7,6–3,6–1. She partnerd Voracova for doubles but lost in the first round also.

She received a wildcard to play in the Dubai Tennis Championships. She defeated Akgul Amanmuradova 6-3, 6-1 in the first round. She lost to qualifier Ayumi Morita in the second. In doubles, she has partnered with Russian Elena Vesnina. They beat Timea Bacsinszky and Iveta Benešová in the opener. Next, they beat Alexandra Dulgheru and Selima Sfar before going down to Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko in the quarterfinals.

Mirza received a wildcard to play at the Qatar Ladies Open. She made quick work of Serbian qualifier Bojana Jovanovski 6-2, 7-5. She was crushed by 5th seed Jelena Jankovic 6-0, 6-1 in the second round. In doubles, Mirza paired with Vesnina and won her first Primary Mandatory event of WTA tour after defeating American pair of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy in the final of Indian Wells.

Mirza competed at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open – Women's Singles Qualifying, where she won against Han Xinyun of China and Voracova in first and second round respectively, thus qualified for the main draw. In the first round she defeated world no. 62 Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain by 6-2, 6-4. In the next round Mirza lost to Maria Kirilenko of Russia 5-7,6-3,6-0. Mirza paired with Vesnina and defeated 5th seed Zheng Jie (China) and Chan Yung-jan (Chinese Taipei) by 6-2, 4(10)-6(7), but went down to pair of Daniela Hantuchová (Slovakia) and Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) by 6-4, 6-3 in second round.

Mirza participated at the Premier-level Family Circle Cup in Charleston. In singles, she defeated Alison Riske (Round 1), Vania King (Round 2) and Sabine Lisicki (Round 3), but went down in the Quarter finals in 3 sets against Peng Shuai. In doubles, Mirza has reached the finals along with Vesnina and defeated Liezel Huber & Lisa Raymond (Round 1), Alla Kudryavtseva & Anastasia Rodionova (Round 2) and Peng Shuai & Zheng Jie (Semi finals). The pair beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy for the second time this season in finals 6-4, 6-4. Mirza won her 11 WTA Tour Doubles Title and second of the year.

In 2009, Sania Mirza got engaged with a childhood friend Sohrab Mirza, however this engagement did not last long.Mirza married Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik on 12 April 2010.The wedding was held in Hyderabad, India. The online attention the wedding generated made Mirza the most searched woman tennis player in 2010 according to Google Trends.The couple planned to settle down in Dubai.

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