Sania Mirza is having a great year, she not only won another major grand slam trophy, she has just been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – the highest sporting honour in the country.
Sania becomes the second tennis player ever, after Leander Paes, to be named for the country’s highest sporting honour.
This comes as another feather in this athlete’s already feathered hat. She is currently ranked number one in women’s doubles, along with her partner Martina Hingis. Her most recent win was the prestigious Wimbeldon trophy for women’s doubles. However, this is not her only grand slam win – she has previously won the Australian Open (2009), French Open (2012) and US Open (2014).
Sania was also awarded a gold and a bronze medal in the mixed and women’s doubles categories in the 2014 Asian Games.
Her other notable awards include the Arjuna award in 2004 and the Padma Shri in 2006 – the fourth highest civilian honour in the country.
Sania’s name was chosen from amongst a variety of great sports men/women, including, squash star Dipika Pallikal, discus thrower Vikas Gowda and Seema Punia, hockey captain Sardar Singh and shuttler Kidambi Srikanth.
This honour comes at a time when many in India questioned Sania Mirza’s loyalty to this country after she married Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik. Hopefully this award will silence them for good.