Tennis

Sania Mirza: Meet India's 'freak accident'

Updated 0954 GMT (1754 HKT) January 29, 2016
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Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis claim the Australian Open title, beating Czech pair Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 in the final. PETER PARKS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Indian tennis trailblazer Mirza has more Twitter followers than Maria Sharapova. Julian Finney/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
As well as over three million followers on Twitter, Mirza's official fan page on Facebook boasts nearly 10 million likes. MOHD FYROL/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Mirza gained in popularity last year after teaming up with Martina Hingis, right. They won the year-end championships in Singapore in early November and ended 2015 with 22 straight wins. Julian Finney/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Mirza and the former world No. 1 in singles first played together in March. They claimed their first major as a partnership at Wimbledon in July, rallying to beat Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. LEON NEAL/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Mirza also enjoyed success in mixed doubles with her former manager, Mahesh Bhupathi. Together they bagged two mixed doubles grand slam crowns. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Mirza first gained prominence in 2005, when she won her first and only singles title in her hometown of Hyderabad. Injuries later forced her to abandon singles. STR/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
She was roared on by the locals that day, and is one of India's most famous sporting celebrities. STR/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Yet Mirza hasn't been immune to criticism, especially when she married former Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik in 2010. India and neighbor Pakistan have long had a frosty relationship. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
India and Pakistan are especially fierce rivals in cricket, the top sport -- by far -- in both nations. Pal Pillai/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
The controversies appear to be well behind Mirza and the 29-year-old enjoys massive support from her home nation. STR/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Mirza and Hingis have their sights set on winning yet more trophies, and Bhupathi thinks they can get there. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images for WTA