India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes. Sportstar will present one iconic sporting achievement each day, leading up to August 15, 2022.
January 18, 2020: Sania Mirza wins 42nd WTA doubles title 15 months after childbirth
As comebacks go, she has scripted the mother of all comebacks in Indian sports.
Sania, who gave birth to son Izhaan in October 2018, decided to give tennis a shot again. And what a shot it turned out to be!
She duly won her 42nd WTA doubles title at the Hobart International in January 2020 in the company of Nadiia Kichenok. Proud and eager to represent the country, she decided to spearhead India’s Fed Cup challenge. She registered three crucial doubles wins and, along with Ankita Raina, piloted the team to the Fed Cup ﬁnal, a ﬁrst in India’s history.
Her doubles title wins this decade include three women’s trophies, three mixed doubles Grand Slam titles and two WTA Tour Finals crowns. At the 2016 Rio Games, she and partner Rohan Bopanna progressed to the semiﬁnals before bowing out.
An inspiration to the younger generation, Sania’s impact on Indian tennis is not just about the crowns she has won, but also about the belief and conﬁdence she has shown on the world stage.
Grand Slams: Mixed Doubles – 2009 Australian Open, 2012 French Open, 2014 US Open
Doubles – 2015 Wimbledon, 2015 US Open, 2016 Australian Open
[This profile was first published in the Sportstar issue dated February 20, 2021]