Sania Mirza is one gritty girl, and it's all in her genes Image: Fotocorp
We would have never seen Sania Mirza play tennis for India had her parents not supported her when she was young.
At the launch of the United Nations women's anthem, Mujhe Haq Hai, in Mumbai, the six-time Grand Slam winner went back in time to remember how her parents countered people's jibes and supported her dream of taking up the sport.
"I started playing tennis when I was six years old, at a time when a girl playing tennis in Hyderabad was unheard of. I came from a family full of cricketers, including my dad," she said.
"When my parents actually said (that) she is going to play tennis, my aunts and uncles were like `kaali ho jayegi dekhna, koi shaadi nahi karega' (her skin will darken and nobody will marry her)," she added.
"I thought my dad is the greatest hero because he stood up against everyone and said that I don't care. They used to mock my parents and say what do you think, that your daughter is going to become a Martina Hingis? Fate had it that I had to win three of my Grand Slams with Martina," she proudly said.
Talking about the parity in prize money for men and women players, she said, "Till today, we fight for equal prize money, we have to justify why as a tennis player we should make the same prize money that the men do... so that means this inequality is everywhere in this world, not just in this part of the world."
Sania, who is pregnant, revealed her husband, Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, wants a girl. "And a secret is that my husband wants a girl very badly," she said.
(Inputs from PTI)