Sachin Tendulkar showered high praise on Sania Mirza after the tennis star was named by Time magazine in its list of the '100 Most Influential People in the World'.
In a profile for Sania, cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar wrote that her "confidence, strength and resilience reach beyond tennis".
Tendulkar described Sania, who recently was awarded India's third highest civilian honour the Padma Bhushan, as an "inspiration" on the court. He lauded her "dedication and willpower" to reinvent herself fully as a doubles player when her singles career was cut short by wrist injuries.
"The Mirzas probably knew what the future held for their daughter. Her name, Sania, means brilliant," Tendulkar wrote.
"I first heard about Sania Mirza back in 2005, when she became the first Indian to win a Women’s Tennis Association event. In 2008 I saw her play in the third round of the Australian Open against Venus Williams. Though she lost, I believed she had the potential to be a star."
Sania, the only tennis player on the list, made history in 2015 when she became the first Indian woman to achieve a No.1 ranking in tennis, win a Grand Slam and claim a second WTA Finals title. With her massively successful doubles partnership with Martina Hingis, she has not just produced spectacular tennis, she's inspired a generation of Indians.
Tendulkar continued, "When Sania’s singles career was cut short by wrist injuries, she, through dedication and willpower, reinvented herself fully as a doubles player. Today Sania and her partner on court, Martina Hingis, are No. 1 in doubles and utterly dominant—they have taken the past three Grand Slam events."
Co-No.1 doubles team Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza had not lost a match since last August and their 41-match winning streak only came to an end in February at Doha.
Santina's historic streak began two months after their Wimbledon triumph at the US Open, which would be the first of nine straight titles as a team, including the China Open, the WTA Finals, the Sydney Open, a third major title at the Australian Open and then the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.
"Sania’s confidence, strength and resilience reach beyond tennis. She has inspired a generation of Indians to pursue their dreams—and to realize that they can also be the best," Tendulkar added.
Sania was also congratulated by Priyanka Chopra, one of the other Indians on the list including RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and founders of Flipkart Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal.
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) April 21, 2016
Congratulations love like I already said I am in great company.. So glad to share this with you as well.. Kissess https://t.co/eA5kYa2vVG
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) April 21, 2016