Pakistan cricket team all-rounder Shoaib Malik on Tuesday heaped praise on India tennis star and wife Sania Mirza after the latter became the first Indian to win the Fed Cup Heart Award.

“PERSEVERANCE ! Good things take time & one needs to build themselves up for greatness. Well done on becoming the ‘FIRST’ with another accolade ! #FedCupHeartAward @MirzaSania,” wrote Malik on Twitter.

Sania won the award for Asia/Oceania zone after securing a whopping 10,000 plus votes out of the total 16,985 cast for this year’s three regional Group I nominees.

The winners from each category received USD 2000 as prize money, which the 33-year-old Hyderabadi decided to donate to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fed Cup Heart Award winners were determined via online voting by fans which went on for a week starting from May 1.

Sania’s vote share of over 60 per cent of the total votes is a testimony to the global popularity of the Indian star at the Fed Cup competition.

The tennis star made a comeback to Fed Cup after four years and helped India qualify for the playoffs for the first time in history.

(With inputs from PTI)