NEW DELHI: Tennis star Sania Mirza on Monday became the first-ever Indian to win the Fed Cup Heart Award. Sania was the nominee for the award from the Asia/Oceania Zone alongside Indonesia's Priska Madelyn Nugroho.
"It's an honour to win the Fed Cup Heart Award as the first Indian," said Sania during a statement. "I dedicate this award to the whole country and to every one of my fans and thank everyone for voting for me. I hope to bring more laurels to the country in the future."
Along with the award, the 33-year-old also received a cheque for $2,000 to be donated to a charity and she opted to help with relief during the continued coronavirus crisis.
"I want to donate the cash that I get from this award to the Telangana Chief Minister's Relief Fund as the world is going through very difficult times with the virus."
Sania played an integral role in India securing the first-ever place within the Fed Cup playoffs. The decisive doubles match was also won by her. It led to India securing their win over Indonesia during the Group 1 match and they also finished second in the group.
After her son Izhaan was born in October 2018, Sania made a comeback to the court this year in January. She secured the women's doubles title at Hobart International, pairing up with Nadiia Kichenok, in the competition which marked her return to the court.
Along with Sania, Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova also won the Qualifiers award for her victory against 23-time grand slam upholder Serena Williams Fernanda Contreras Gomez from Mexico and Estonian Anett Kontaveit being the opposite zone winners.