Pause, rewind, play: When Sania Mirza got India dreaming with impressive performances in 2005

Sania Mirza is a trailblazer in Indian sport. She brought women’s tennis in India to a position of prominence with consistent performances over the last 15 years. A winner of six Grand Slam titles, Mirza became the first Indian to be ranked World No 1 after she occupied the position in the WTA doubles rankings in 2015.

Mirza along with Martina Hingis forged together a lethal partnership winning 14 titles together and establishing themselves as one of the finest women’s doubles pairs in the Open era.

However, Mirza’s early years were also about making her mark in the singles category where she upset top-ranked players and was seen as an emerging talent.

After impressing on the junior circuit, winning the 2003 Wimbledon Girls’ Doubles title, Mirza began prospering on the senior circuit.

The 2005 Australian Open marked the beginning of the rise for Mirza, who had won six ITF titles in 2004. She beat Cindy Watson and Petra Mandula in Melbourne to reach the third round where she set up a dream context against Serena Williams. She was beaten in straight sets, but the Indian had made it into the big league.

A month later, Mirza claimed her first WTA title,…

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