NEW DELHI, Aug 11: Sania Mirza is all set to become the first woman tennis player to be conferred India’s highest sports award Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Times Now reported on Tuesday.
Sania is only the second tennis player to get the coveted award after Leander Paes in 1996-97. Earlier this month, the Sports Ministry had recommended the Wimbledon doubles champion for the award but had also made it clear that the final decision rests with only the Awards Committee.
Sania won her career’s first ever women’s doubles Grand Slam title with Swiss partner Martina Hingis in July. She also became world number one before winning the Grass Court major.
Sania, who has won three mixed doubles Grand Slams in her career, was reportedly competing with squash player Deepika Pallikal and discus thrower Vikas Gowda for the prestigious award.
Sania also won the gold medal and the bronze medal in the mixed and women’s doubles categories in the 2014 Asian Games.
Sania had received the Arjuna award in 2004 while two years later she was awarded India’s fourth highest civilian honour — Padma Shri.
Sania has also won the mixed doubles titles at Australia Open (2009), French Open (2012) and US Open (2014) and is currently the world’s No. 1 ranked doubles player.
2015 Kashmir Despatch