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Sania on Time magazine cover
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October 02, 2005 18:31 IST

In another ace for teenage tennis icon Sania Mirza [Images], she became the first Indian sportswoman to feature on the cover of Time magazine and is being included in its 2005 list of Asia's heroes.

In the list of heroes, Sania shares the space with Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu, South Korean footballer Park Ji Sung and Japan's [Images] Ken Watanbe.

The tennis star, who has been described by the magazine as a role model for women in the country and the fastest rising star in the sport this year, features on the cover of the special issue of the magazine which will hit the stands on Monday.

Though the list is led by people who saved lives and rebuild families and communities after last year's devastating tsunami, it also includes inspirational figures in the field of arts and sports.

Sania is creating history in Indian tennis by becoming the first ever Indian to break into the top-50 WTA Tour rankings. She also became the first Indian woman to win a WTA tourney when she lifted the Hyderabad Open trophy in February 2005.

The Wimbledon junior champion also beat several top-10 players and became the first Indian to reach the third round of Australian Open and the pre-quarters of the US Open.

On its spotlight on tsunami, the executive editor of Time Asia says: "the tsunami, which left 250,000 dead or missing across Asia, was almost unimaginably destructive...Yet amid the grief and loss and mortal dangers, ordinary individuals proved themselves capable of extraordinary courage and selflessness - the very essence of heroism."

On the tsunami front, a 14 year-old girl from Maldives who took charge of her family to hold them together and help heal their trauma after the tsunami is on the list.

A group of Acehnese women who lost their families and homes in the tsunami and banded together to rebuild their wrecked village and start over again, have also been honoured in the list.


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