Yet another first for Sania Mirza

Three-time Grand Slam winner, Sania Mirza.

Three-time Grand Slam winner, Sania Mirza.

Twenty-eight-year-old Sania Mirza has become the first woman tennis player from India to be top-seeded in the ongoing Wimbledon or for that matter, any Grand Slam championship.

“It’s a great honour to be the top-seed in what is considered to be the ‘home of tennis’,” said Sania from London, before leaving for practice on Friday, ahead of the next match.

“It’s a proud moment and is an official acknowledgement of Sania’s sustained, consistent performances at the highest level,” said her father, Imran Mirza.

Ms. Mirza, incidentally, is playing her 15{+t}{+h}year at Wimbledon. She won her first major title there in 2003 at the first junior Grand Slam, in the girls’ doubles category. Sania’s best at Wimbledon in women’s doubles has been the semi-final appearance with partner, Vesnina. It also means she is now a member of the ‘Last-four Club’ in Wimbledon and enjoys certain privileges for a lifetime, including use of a special locker etc.

“No matter how many times you’ve been here, it is still really exciting. I have several beautiful memories associated with the ‘BIG W’,” said Mr. Mirza. His daughter’s performances at Wimbledon have been memorable, including the three-setter in singles, which she lost to the then reigning US Open champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova, playing for the first time on the famed Centre Court, besides beating Japan’s Akiko Morigami.

The only Indians top-seeded in a Grand Slam earlier were Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in the 1999 French Open edition men’s doubles. Ms. Sania Mirza, a three-time Grand Slam winner, is determined to complete a career Grand Slam, having won the mixed doubles titles in the Australian, French and the US Opens earlier.

Becomes the first woman tennis player from India to be top-seeded in the ongoing Wimbledon

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