Sania Mirza nominated for ITF’s Fed Cup Heart Award, first Indian into the list
In yet another celebrated moment for the country, Tennis star Sania Mirza on Thursday became the first Indian to be nominated for the Fed Cup Heart Award from the Asia/Oceania zone. The 33-year-old decorated Tennis player made a comeback to the Fed Cup after four years, following her maternity break. In her comeback match, Sania Mirza helped India qualify for the Play-offs for the first time in history. Her game with senior compatriot Ankit Raina proved decisive in the country’s entry to the Fed Cup Play-offs.
In praise of the former world number one and multiple Grand Slam winner, the Fed Cup Awards website states:
“Making her first Fed Cup appearance since 2016 and with 18-month old son watching her from the stands, Sania Mirza went 3-0 in doubles for India, including a victory in the decisive doubles that secured their place in April’s Play-offs.”
Speaking about his splendid 18 year-long journey, Sania said that she feels proud and privileged to have contributed to the success of Indian tennis. She further said that the March’s Fed Cup result at the Asia/Oceania tournament is one of her playing career’s greatest achievements.
“These are the moments an athlete plays for and I am grateful to the Fed Cup Heart Awards selection panel for this recognition,” she added.
In this 11 edition of the Awards, Indonesia’s 16-year-old Priska Madelyn Nugroho is the second player to be nominated from the Asia/Oceania region. Last year, Kazakh tennis player Zarina Diyas won the Award from the Asia/Oceania Group I.
In her glorious career, Sania Mirza has won six Grand Slam doubles titles. Of the many feathers to her cap, she is notably the first Indian tennis player to have climbed to the top of the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) doubles ranking.
An International Tennis Federation (ITF) initiative, the Fed Cup Heart Award was established in 2009. According to the ITF website, the award aims to commemorate the success of Fed Cup Players who represent their countries with distinction, display an outstanding commitment to the team during competition, and show exceptional courage on the court. As per the terms stated on the website, online voting for the Fed Cup Heart Awards will take place for one week from May 1. The winners will be announced on May 11.