For those of you wondering why the 29-year-old global tennis icon Sania Mirza released an autobiography at this raw age, it is because she has had an eventful enough life to “fill up enough pages”, having become the first Indian woman to hold the No.1 ranking for 80 consecutive weeks after winning the Volvo Car Open.
The youth icon, who has never shied away from marking her territory by holding her ground in many a controversial interview and releasing an autobiography to establish her robust opinions, now took to Twitter to make this stellar declaration to her four and a half million fans and followers:
“Today I complete 80 consecutive weeks as the number 1 player in d world, its been an amazing journey and just inspires me to work harder @WTA,” she tweeted.
Sania’s reign becomes the fourth longest in the history of women’s doubles, with the only Martina Navratilova (at 181 weeks), Cara Black (at 145), and Liezel Huber (at 134) holding the top spot longer than her.
Sania, who was sharing the WTA doubles’ world number one spot with her doubles partner of over a year, Martina Hingis, overtook her in points in August this year. Upon winning the Volvo Car Open in Charleston with her partner Barbora Strycova, she finally became the sole occupant of the throne, holding 8,885 points, a notch above Hingis’ 8,560.
Despite her reign as number one, it seems that her country cannot celebrate with her wholeheartedly. Not very long ago, eminent journalist Rajdeep Sardesai asked her about her plans to ‘settle down’ and retire to motherhood, during a phase when her career only seems to be on the ascendant. And earlier today, ex-cricketer Sanjay Manjarekar decided to have his moment of condescension by pointing out that she is only number one in doubles, and not singles. But Sania has been unfazed by this constant dissatisfaction, and not only pointed out to Rajdeep that he must change his definition of ‘settled down’ for women - especially a female athlete at the peak of her career - but also politely pointed out to Manjarekar that she cannot rank first in a format of the sport she does not play, considering she announced her retirement from women's singles tennis in 2013.
She could have been just a famous athlete with her immense skill, but it is qualities like these – her persistence, and class with just the right amount of sass - that have turned her into a role model as well for multitudes of girls across the world. You go, Sania! Here’s to 80 more weeks of being queen.