Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Sania Mirza and her compatriot Rohan Bopanna narrowly missed out on the Australian Open 2023 title. It was the last Grand Slam in Sania’s glorious career. 

The Indian duo was defeated 6-7 (2), 2-6 by the Brazilian duo of Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos in the thrilling final. 

Sania will now bid farewell to tennis at the WTA 1000 event in Dubai in February.

The Australian Open 2023 was the 11th Grand Slam final of Indian ace tennis player’s illustrious career. She has won as many as 43 doubles titles including six Grand Slams in her glorious career. She has also spent 91 weeks as the World No.1 in women’s doubles. 

The tennis diva has also been embroiled in several controversies in the past that had shaken up the sports world. Let’s have a look at some of the major controversies involving the tennis superstar.

Fatwa issued

A fatwa (an official order or statement in Islamic law) was issued against Sania for wearing short skirts while playing the game almost a decade back. The Indian tennis superstar had to face many adverse comments for her attire throughout her career.

Masjid debacle

Sania was amid a major controversy for shooting inside a masjid premises in 2007. The minority welfare department had filed a complaint against Sania for the controversial issue. Several local people and activists gave angry reactions against Sania for her controversial act. As per them, the tennis superstar hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslims.

‘Insult of National Flag’

The tennis superstar was found watching a match with her feet resting on a table next to the national flag of India in 2008. A social worker Prakash Singh Thakur filed a case against her under the Prevention of Insult to the National Honour Act (1971). Subsequently, Sania was summoned for disrespecting the national flag.

Marriage with Shoaib Malik

Sania tied the nuptial knot with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in 2012. The wedding grabbed a lot of media attention from both India and Pakistan as it was an inter-country wedding. She faced a lot of criticisms for it and her patriotism was also questioned.  The incident hurt Sania so much that she once broke down during a TV interview by saying that it was unfair to keep doubting her patriotism.

Accusation against AITA

During London Olympics in 2012, Leander Peas demanded to play with Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles event. However, it made Sania furious. She then accused the All India Tennis Association (AITA) for forcing her to play alongside Leander. She wanted to play with Bhupathi as she had a successful mix-doubles pairing with him.

Divorce rumours

Sania and Shoaib have been hitting headlines more for their divorce rumours. However, the couple has been tight-lipped about their separation so far. Speculations are rife that legal issues are stopping them from making it official.