Award Name : Arjuna Award
Year of Award : 2004
Award for : Sports and Games
Location : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Sania Mirza is an Indian professional tennis player who is currently ranked No. 1 in the women's doubles rankings. She was born on 15th November 1986 in Mumbai. Her parents are Imran Mirza and Nasima. Her father is a sports journalist. She spent her childhood days in Hyderabad. She started playing the game tennis when she was just six and was trained by her own father. She did her schooling in NASR school in Hyderabad and got her graduation from St. Mary’s College. Sania Mirza took up tennis as her profession in 2003. She was a debutante in the India Fed Cup team held in April 2003. Her maiden event fetched her instant recognition, because she won all the three single matches. She went on to win the 2003 Wimbledon Championship Girls' Doubles title, by pairing up with Russia's Alisa Kleybanova. Sania didn't have to turn back thereafter. Soon, she became the highest ranked Indian female tennis player. She managed to acquire the 27th position in singles, while she was ranked 18th in the doubles event.
In 2004, Sania Mirza emerged as the runner-up at the Asian Tennis Championship. She holds the distinction of being the first Indian woman to make it to the Grand Slam tennis tournament. In the early 2005, she set a record by becoming the first Indian woman to enter the fourth round of a Grand Slam event at the 2005 US Open, by tasting victory over Mashona Washington, Maria Elena Camerin and Marion Bartoli. In the same year, Mirza managed to enter the third round of the Australian Open, but eventually lost to champion Serena Williams. The year 2006 proved to be a purple patch for Sania Mirza, as she notched up three top 10 wins of the year. Sania Mirza won a silver medal in the Women's Singles event and a gold in the Mixed Doubles event (teamed up Leander Paes) at the 2006 Doha Asian Games. During the 2007 summer Hard Court season, Mirza came with best results of her careers. She finished eighth in the 2007 US Open. She was chosen to represent India at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, in the Women's Singles and Doubles events. By winning the Mixed Doubles event at the 2009 Australian Open, with Mahesh Bhupathi, Mirza emerged as the first Indian woman to win a grand slam event. In 2004, She received the Arjuna Award.