Sania Mirza, the face of tennis in India revealed that as a child, she was told to quit the sport or else nobody would marry her. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Delhi, Sania opened up how people used to tell her indifferent things as a child.
An athlete who has three doubles and three mixed doubles Grand Slam titles to her credit, Sania was told to stop playing tennis as it would lead to her getting a ‘dark’ complexion, which in turn would make it difficult for her marriage. She further opened on the challenges that she faced while pursuing a career in tennis.
Sania was part of a panel at the event, that discussed women and leadership, where Sania discussed her past. She is still the most successful woman tennis player in India having been ranked as high as no.27 in the WTA singles ranking in the year 2007.
“To start with, parents, neighbours, aunties and the uncles (need to) stop telling you how dark you will become and no one will marry you if you play a sport. I was just eight (when this came up) and everybody thought nobody is going to marry me because I would get dark. I thought to myself I am just a kid, I’ll be fine,” revealed Sania.
The 32-year-old player further added, “It is so deeply embedded, this culture about how a girl needs to be pretty and by that also one means fair, I don’t know why. This culture has to change.”
Sania is currently married to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and is targetting a return to Tennis, after embracing motherhood.