Modi will also dedicate to the nation and lay the foundation stone of projects worth more than Rs 5,200 crore
Indian tennis star Sania Mirza expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his kind and inspiring words after the ace tennis player announced her retirement from the sport in her hometown, Hyderabad, where she began her tennis journey as a 16-year-old.
Modi had sent her a letter praising her as India’s best tennis player who had made a lasting impact on Indian sports and inspired future generations of athletes.
In the letter, the prime minister said as India’s best tennis player, she had left an indelible mark on Indian sports, inspiring the coming generations of athletes.
“I would like to thank Honorable Prime Minister @narendramodi Ji for such kind and inspiring words. I have always taken great pride in representing our country to the best of my ability and will continue to do whatever I can to make India proud. Thank you for your support,” tweeted Sania.
I would like to thank you Honorable Prime Minister @narendramodi Ji for such kind and inspiring words .I have always taken great pride in representing our country to the best of my ability and will continue to do whatever I can to make India proud . Thank you for your support. pic.twitter.com/8q2kZ2LZEN
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) March 11, 2023
The prime minister, in his letter, further called the tennis legendary player as India’s pride whose success has filled the hearts and minds of every Indian with utmost joy.
“Tennis lovers will find it difficult to fathom that you will not be playing professionally from now onwards. But, through your career as one of India’s best tennis players, you have left an indelible mark on Indian sports, inspiring the coming generation of athletes. When you announced a “Life Update” on 13th January, you wonderfully expressed your journey from a six-year-old who had to literally fight her way to the courts to a world-class tennis player in the subsequent years. You wrote about how your biggest honour has been winning medals for India. I can say that you are India’s pride, whose success has filled the hearts and minds of every Indian with utmost joy,” read the PM’s letter.
Recalling her success in Wimbledon as a junior player, PM Modi said that her early success showed she was going to be a force to reckon with.
“You gave the people of India much to cheer about. Your early success in Wimbledon as a junior player showed that you were going to be a force to reckon with. Likewise, your triumphs in subsequent Grand Slam tournaments, be it the Women’s Doubles or Mixed Doubles demonstrated your skill and passion for the game. That you won in so many Doubles events also shows your temperament towards teamwork, which is an essential learning of sports,” it read.
“Due to twists of fate, you had to cope with injuries, but these setbacks only strengthened your resolve and you overcame these challenges with flying colours,” it read further.
India’s most accomplished female tennis player, Sania played two exhibition matches on Sunday at the Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad. This is the same location where she made her WTA event debut back in 2003 as a wild-card entry at Hyderabad Open, and where she won the doubles title a year later with Liezel Huber. Sania has won a total of 44 WTA titles in her career, with only one in singles and the rest in doubles, including six Grand Slam titles. She recently retired from professional tennis after the Dubai Tennis Championships earlier this month. In her exhibition matches, she played with Indian men’s tennis player Rohan Bopanna, Indian cricket all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, and American tennis player Bethanie Mettek Sands. Sania won both matches, causing excitement and joy among the young and enthusiastic crowd, including schoolchildren. She was accompanied by her son, Izhaan Mirza Malik, and was overwhelmed by the warm reception.
The event was attended by prominent personalities, including former Union Sports Minister and current Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, former Indian cricket skipper Mohammed Azharuddin, movie star Dulquer Salmaan, and popular rapper MC Stan. Sania’s most recent doubles victory was at the Ostrava Open in the Czech Republic in 2021, where she teamed up with China’s Zhang Shuai.