Sania Mirza

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Mirza has earned a large fan following in India as she is one of the very few young women from that country to have done well at the highest levels of sport. The media termed the phenomenon Sania Mania. She reportedly has sponsorships to the tune of U.S. $ 0.35 million per brand per annum. In 2005, she was awarded the Arjuna award in tennis for the year 2004. She has defeated two top 10 players, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova.

Watching her performance in Acura Classics, tennis legend Pancho Segura, Ecuador-born American player who roamed the courts in the 1940s and 50s, felt that Sania's hard-hitting game resembled that of Romanian tennis legend Ilie Nastase - Segura said that Mirza had a natural way of hitting the ball and that she hit it hard, like Nastase.

Mirza is also the first Indian sportswoman to feature on the cover of Time magazine(South Asian edition) and was included in its 2005 list of Asia's 50 heroes.

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