India’s tennis ace Sania Mirza will join teenagers Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada and Priska Madelyn Nugroho of Indonesia along with a handful others as nominees for February’s Fed Cup Heart Award.
Mirza and the two 17-year-olds from Canada and Indonesia will be joined by Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, Belarussian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia along with the regional nominees – namely Anett Kontaveit (Estonia), Eleonora Molinaro (Luxembourg), Fernanda Contreras Gomez (Mexico) and Veronica Royg (Paraguay).
Now in its 11th year, the Fed Cup Heart Award recognises those players who have represented their country with distinction, shown exceptional courage on court and demonstrated outstanding commitment to the team during Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. Each winner receives a cheque to be donated to a charity of their choice.
Online voting began for a week from Friday (May 1) with the winners scheduled to be announced on May 11.
Mirza was instrumental in India being placed runner-up to China at the Asia/Oceania Fed Cup qualifying held at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium that concluded on March 7, just before all tennis activity was shut worldwide due to the pandemic. Nugroho was the standout player as Indonesia nearly upset India on the final day.
However, it was Sania Mirza who teamed up with Ankita Raina to win the crucial doubles in three sets against Indonesia to ensure India the runner-up spot and a qualification to the next stage of Fed Cup. Mirza has made huge impact in tennis in India. She was a regular in Nigeria in the ealier part of her career winning ITF tournaments in Nigeria’s cities of Benin and Lagos respectively.