President Pranab Mukherjee honoured Indian tennis sensation Sania Mirza with the Padma Bhushan award Tuesday. It was announced ahead of Republic Day this year that Sania, along with badminton star Saina Nehwal, will be conferred with India's third-highest civilian award in the sports category.
The 29-year-old forged a formidable partnership with Swiss sensation Martina Hingis last year and some incredible performances saw the pair, fondly named "SanTina," bag one laurel after another. Mirza and Hingis however saw their incredible winning run come to a halt earlier this year as they bagged their first defeat in 42 matches at the WTA Qatar Open.
Following that, "SanTina" suffered back-to-back second round exits in the Miami Open as well as the Indian Wells.
However, the performance shown by the duo last year gave immense reasons for the Government of India to consider Mirza for the country's third-highest civilian award. Mirza and Hingis won the Wimbledon 2015 women's doubles title, the US Open 2015 women's doubles title as well as the Australian Open 2016 women's double title to solidify their numero uno position at the WTA doubles rankings.
Sania, meanwhile, is also a recipient of the Arjuna Award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, as well as the Padma Shri.