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Sania scales heights

Sania scales heights
Highlights

Forget the blabber about Women’s Reservation Bill that is yet to see the light of the day and the cosmetic lip-service offered to women empowerment in India. April has seen two Indian

There seems to be a symbolic, but unwritten, one-upmanship battle in the mindset of Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza, whose careers have run parallel to each with India being the gainer on both counts

Forget the blabber about Women’s Reservation Bill that is yet to see the light of the day and the cosmetic lip-service offered to women empowerment in India. April has seen two Indian women make the country proud by conquering the world with remarkable finesse and of their own accord and on their own terms. There seems to be a symbolic, but unwritten, one-upmanship battle in the mindset of Saina Nehwal and Sania Mirza, whose careers have run parallel to each with India being the gainer on both counts.

Even as the country was celebrating the top spot earned by the shuttler (which she lost after a brief stint), an equally breathtaking chapter has been added to Indian folklore, thanks to Sania Mirza taking over the women tennis world as the top doubles player. Their accomplishments provide a glimmer of hope that all is not lost if India finishes third in Azlan Shah Hockey and has an equally forgettable outing in the ICC World Cup-2015. After all, they have shown there is more to Indian sport than cricket.

Sania’s rise has been unique right from the time she turned a pro in 2003, the very year she, along with Alisa Kleybanova, won the Wimbledon girls' doubles title. Perhaps that was the first indication that she could be a potent doubles player. She reached an envious career high ranking of No 27 in singles before a nagging wrist injury forced her to concentrate on doubles. It was a decision that drew criticism but the steely resolve in Sania saw her through several rough patches but also kept her in a good stead. She still remains the country’s torch-bearer.

One is yet find an answer to ‘After Sania who?’ Sunday marks a spectacular double for the 28-year Hyderabadi as she dethroned the joint number one Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci for sole ownership of the throne in terms of individual rankings, while she and Martina Hingis - they remain unbeaten - have become world’s top doubles pair. Last year’s coveted WTA Finals triumph with Cara Black remains her high point in women doubles, although the one regret she could harbour is the absence of a women Grand Slam doubles title in her kitty.

For one who has weathered many a storm in a controversy-ridden career that included being a constant target of fundamentalists and breaking down at being labeled maliciously as the ‘daughter-in-law of Pakistan,’ poetic justice was rendered when she became the first Asian woman to be named UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia. It looks seemingly probable that being declared the Brand Ambassador of Telangana seems to have rejuvenated her as she has enjoyed a phenomenal title streak since then. Every countryman hopes she will remain the world conqueror on and on.

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