Sunday, July 12, 2015

Wimbledon: Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis beat Ekaterina Makarova-Elena Vesnina to lift women's doubles title

India's tennis queen Sania Mirza created history by becoming the first female player from the country to win a women's doubles Grand Slam trophy as she clinched the Wimbledon title with Swiss partner Martina Hingis.
12 years after turning Pro, 28-year-old Sania laid hands on her first women's doubles Major title when she and Hingis battled past second seed Russian team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 5-7 7-6(4) 7-5 in a thrilling final.

In an interesting coincidence it was at these very historic courts that Sania had won women's doubles junior Wimbledon championship with Russian partner Alisa Kleybanova in 2003.
Sania had come close to winning a women's doubles Major in 2011 when she reached the French Open final with Elena Vesnina but ended up runners-up.
Already having a long list of firsts, Sania had become India's first woman player to win a Grand Slam when she won the Australian Open with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2009. She later added French Open (2012 with Bhupathi) and US Open (2014 with Bruno Soares) to her mixed doubles collection.
It was a remarkable turn around for the top seeds as they were trailing 2-5 in the deciding set but made a stunning comeback to reel off five straight games to clinch the issue.
Vesnina was all fired up and her smashing volleys at the net put Sania and Hingis in a lot of trouble. The Russian was left distraught as she played out of her skin.
It was third time in recent times that Sania and Hingis played the two Russian in finals --Indian Wells and Miami -- and asserted their supremacy again.
Sania was broken in the very first game of the match when Vesnina hit a volley winner from the net but the top seeds immediately broke Vesnina to avoid falling behind. It was a remarkable lob from Hingis that gave them two break chances and they converted the second.
Sania and Hingis put tremendous pressure on the their rivals but the two Russians responded well and it was 5-5.
Hingis was broken in the 11th game at love after a terrific rally of powerful groundstrokes from left-handed Makarova. Vesnina pounced on one return from the Swiss and hammered the volley winner close to the body of Sania.
Makarova served for the set and it was Vesnina's smart play at the net that sealed them the opening set.
It was the first set that Sania and Hingis had dropped in this tournament.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Olympic medal next target: Sania

New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who Thursday won her maiden French Open mixed doubles title with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi, said an Olympic medal is their next target but lamented that deciding the pairing is not in their control.
"Olympics is something we have all dreamt about as athletes and we want to win a medal there but a lot of things are not in our control," said Sania.
The French Open win, however, may prompt the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to field the same pair in the 2012 London Games and not disturb the combination.
Sania said if the same pair is fielded in the London Games, they would give their best to give India its second Olympic medal from tennis.
Leander Paes, who is also a strong contender to team up with Sania, had given the country its first Olympic tennis medal, a singles bronze, in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
"If we do get that opportunity we are going to give whatever we have to get that medal," Sania was quoted as saying by TV channels.
Mahesh also concurred with Sania and said "for us the train hasn't really stopped".
"We're off on the grass courts season tomorrow. She's going to Birmingham; I am going to Queen's club. It's going to be a long grass courts season because the Olympics is on grass as well. We're playing well. We're looking forward to playing together and if we get that opportunity to play the Olympics together, hopefully we'll be able to fire like we did this week and contend for a medal," said.
Sania said there is not much time to celebrate since they have to make a quick transition from clay to grass.
"I have to keep the rhythm going and hopefully we can win a few more slams. And if we go to the Olympics and make it there - obviously try to win a medal there," said Sania.
Sania said the second Grand Slam title with Bhupathi was special since it came on his team mates birthday.
"Every grand slam is as special as the other. The first one was very special for its own reasons and this was special as it was on my least favourite surface and it comes on Mahesh's birthday," Sania said.
Sania said winning the title after a poor start gave her immense satisfaction.
"Fortunately for us things can turn around and this is a great example of it. You have to go out and fight everyday. We had an unfortunate start and we were disappointed. We encouraged each other and inspired each other to do better in the mixed and here we are two weeks later having won the slam," Sania said.
Sania praised her opponents saying they were a tough nuts to crack in the final.
"They were here because they beat some great teams including Leander and Vesnina in the semis and we knew we had to play well to beat them. Fortunately we had the experience of playing in some finals before and Mahesh has won so many slams before so we are just happy to keep the level up for the last two weeks especially because we had a disappointing start to the tournament but we are glad to bounce back," she said.
Bhupathi said he still experiences the same feeling after a major win.
"It is amazing. It still has not sunk in. I could not have asked for a better present from my partner. Fifteen years later the excitement is still the same when you win a title and we are working hard so hopefully it will continue.
"We were really disappointed in the beginning of the tournament. We turned it around well and kept it going and winning this title makes it a lot more special," he said.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sania ousted from Wimbledon singles, loses tough first rounder to Razzano

Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza lost a tight three setter to 28-year old Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano in the first round of Wimbledon.Razzano, a 12-year pro on the WTA circuit is a former top 20 player who mad the fourth round here on her last visit to SW19 in 2009.Mirza had her chances in the first set having served for it at 5-4 before losing it in a tiebreak.Sania raced through the second 6-2 in just 37 minutes,but was no match for the skill of the veteran in the final set as she capitulated to a 7-6(4),2-6,6-3 defeat.As her reward Razzano will next face the winner of the match between world no.1 Caroline Wozniacki and Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain.The opening set had some enormous momentum swings with Mirza jumping to a 3-0 lead with a double break courtesy of a slew of unforced errors from the notoriously slow starting Frenchwoman.Razzano broke back though immediately to keep her interest alive in the set and get herself on the board.The next five games all went with the server leaving Mirza the opportunity to serve for the set at 5-4.Sadly,Sania's serve let her down when the moment of truth arrived as Razzano earned two break points,eventually needing just the one to draw level at 5-5 in the opening set.Normal business resumed thereafter with the women settling for a tiebreak to decide their fortunes.The opening 9 points of the breaker also went with serve,leaving Mirza with two serves to follow at 4-5 to decide her fate.Once again though a couple of indifferent points,one a winner from Razzano and the other an unforced error from Sania saw the Frenchwoman steal the set 7-4 despite having been behind for the lion's share of it.Credit to the young Indian though as she came out all guns blazing in the second set putting the disappointment of losing the first set behind her very quickly.Mirza saved a couple of break points in the opening game before taking her first chance on the Razzano serve to sneak ahead 2-0.The games continued to be close over the rest of the set with Mirza keeping her nose in front by holding serve despite some inconsistent bouts of Razzano pressure.Razzano served to stay in the set at 2-5 and duly broken a second time as Mirza closed out the set 6-2.The second set stats made remarkable reading with Mirza winning just 9 points on the Razzano serve all set,but amazingly putting 8 of them together to break serve twice.The Indian helped her own cause by landing a high percentage of first serves which crucially allowed her to get through the set without dropping serve.The final set saw a complete transformation in play with Razzano suddenly becoming the more aggresive player racing through her opening three service games for the loss of only three points while heaping tons of pressure on the Mirza serve.It all came to fruition in the crucial 7th game which turned out to be not just an instant classic but also the decisive moment in the contest.Despite saving a host of break points,Sania finally dropped serve for 3-4.Razzano crucially conssolidated the break with a hold to love before ensuring that she would not need to serve for the match by squeezing out the contest on the Mirza serve.Mirza will now turn her attention to the women's doubles where she teams up with Elena Vesnina of Russia to take on the American-Russian pairing of Melanie Oudin and Anna Chakvetadze in the first round.Mirza and Vesnina finished runners-up in the Final of the French Open last month.Later today,India's no.1 male tennis player Somdev Dewarman will make his Wimbledon main draw debut against Germany's Denis Gremelmayr.The pair have never met previously.

Final Score:

Virginie Razzano(FRA) d.Sania Mirza(IND) 76(4)26 63

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sania's poster removed

On objection by a section of crowd business establishments have started removing the poster of the "Poster girl".Recently a couple has changed their daughters name... It seems the brand Sania is hitting a new low
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Wedding reception : Sania & Shoaib

Pakistan's former cricket captain Shoaib Malik, right, and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza look at each other during their wedding reception in Hyderabad, India. Mirza and Malik were married on Monday, April 12, 2010
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Love @ third sight for sania mirza

Falling in love at first sight in not new, but ever heard of falling in love in the third one? Well, that's the case as far as the newly married cross-border sports couple Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik are concerned.

Appearing before the media for the first time since their controversial, yet news headline dominating wedding, Indian tennis sensation Sania Mirza and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik disclosed that their love for each other was of a different kind.

A visibly happy and vibrant Sania told 'anxious' media persons she had met Malik for the first time in 2004, but the meeting lasted for only two minutes at a restaurant in Hobart.

The very next day Shoaib along with former fast bowler Waqar Younis came to watch her match where she found the 'all-rounder' Malik 'very simple' and 'attractive.'

But when did they decide to take the marital vows? It was after Mirza's engagement with childhood friend Sohrab Mirza crashed, said the giggling tennis ace, and also made it clear that Shoaib did not propose to her.

"It was decided from both sides," Sania said.

Sania said now that they are married, she wants to forget all the hullabaloo surrounding her wedding lead a happy life.

Responding to a question, she made it clear she would continue supporting her homeland in future India-Pakistan encounter on the cricket field, but was quick to add that she would want her hubby to hit a century.

While Sania did much of the talking, Shoaib, though unwanting, responded to some questions.

Replying to a question, Shoaib clarified that Sania would play 'only' for India and she would have the good wishes of Pakistan.

Shoaib Malik & Sania Mirza @ wedding reception

Pakistan's former cricket captain Shoaib Malik, right, and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, center, pose for a photograph with an unidentified woman during their wedding reception in Hyderabad, India.
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Sania wedding reception in Hyderabad,

April 15, 2010 photo provided by the Mirza family, Pakistan's former cricket captain Shoaib Malik, second right, and Indian tennis starSania Mirza, center, pose for a photograph along with Sania's father Imran Mirza, left, mother Naseema Mirza, right, and Sahara Group chief Subroto Roy during their wedding reception in Hyderabad, India. Mirza and Malik were married on Monday, April 12, 2010
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I was marrying a person, not a Pakistani: Sania

"I wasn't marrying a Pakistani. I was marrying a person I liked and he was marrying a person."

This was Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza response in her first media interaction, four days after she tied the knot with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik(28), when asked about her cross-border marriage that hogged media limelight for days.

"It didn't matter if he (Shoaib) was from Timbuktu. He could have been from anywhere," Sania (23) said.

"I was marrying a person, not a Pakistani, people try to make it political but we were very clear that we were two individuals who were getting married just like normal people... Everyone had an opinion... but the most important thing is that now we are relieved as we are married," she said.

Sania said now that they are married, she wants to forget all the hullabaloo surrounding her wedding and lead a happy life.

Shoaib Malik, right, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, left and Sania's father Imran Mirza pose during a Sangeet ceremony

In this photo taken on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 and provided by the Mirza family, Pakistan's former cricket captain Shoaib Malik, right, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, left and Sania's father Imran Mirza pose during a Sangeet ceremony, part of wedding festivities, in Hyderabad, India
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Shoaib Malik, right, and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza pose for a photo during a Sangeet ceremony

In this Wednesday, April 14, 2010 photo provided by the Mirza family, Pakistan's former cricket captain Shoaib Malik, right, and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza pose for a photo during a Sangeet ceremony, part of wedding festivities, in Hyderabad, India
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Shoaib Malik & Sania Mirza look at each other during a Sangeet ceremony

In this photo taken on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, and provided by the Mirza family, Pakistan's former cricket captain Shoaib Malik, left, and Indian tennisstar Sania Mirza look at each other during a Sangeet ceremony, part of wedding festivities, in Hyderabad, India. Mirza and Malik were married on Monday, April 12, 2010.
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Sania to be Pakistan Govt's brand ambassadors

Cricketer Shoaib Malik and his Indian wife Sania Mirza are to be declared as brand ambassadors of Pakistan's population welfare ministry, it was announced here Wednesday.

Population Welfare Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan made the announcement while speaking to reporters here Wednesday before leaving for India on a five-day official visit, during which she will also attend the newly-married couple's wedding reception.

She expressed the hope that the pair would play their role in controlling the high birth rate in both India and Pakistan, Online news agency reported.

Responding to a question, the minister said the marriage of Shoaib and Sania would help to revive the stalled sub-continental peace talks.

She said a 'historical reception' would be accorded to Shoaib and Sania on their arrival in Pakistan.

Speaking about her engagements in India, Awan said she would be meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister M.S. Gill.

Awan is visiting India at Azad's invitation.

Wedding reception of Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza

The sangeet ceremony of the newly-wed Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who tied the knot with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik earlier in the week, was today held at a city hotel here.

Both Sania and Shoaib, who got married on Monday, attended the ceremony.

Sania's outfit for the occasion was designed by Shantanu and Nikhil, while Shoaib's dress was gifted to his newly-wed wife's family members, the tennis player's spokesperson said.

The guests had a lively evening as some enthralling music was played out on the occasion.

The menu for the evening included a lavish spread of about seven starters, a salad counter, a kebab corner, 10 main course dishes and six deserts, the spokesperson added.

Former tennis players Jaideep Mukherjee and Akhtar Ali also attended the wedding celebrations.

Indian fans change their daughters name to Sangeetha from "Sania"

Annoyed by tennis player, Sania Mirza's marriage to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, a Ujjain couple have decided to change their eight-year-old daughter's name from Sania to Sangeeta.

The couple Geeta and Madanlal Harod had named their daughter after Sania in 2002 as they felt that the name would bring glory to their family.

Madanlal told PTI that although he was a staunch Hindu, he and his wife had no problems in giving their daughter a Muslim name as Sania was very popular then.

He said that they liked the name Sania as the tennis player had brought glory for India through her game.

An application to change his daughter Sania's name to Sangeeta has already been filed with the Saraswati Shishu Mandir where her daughter is studying in class III, he said.

Sania's name would not have been changed had the tennis player had married an Indian Muslim, Madanlal said.

Mrs Shoaib Malik...........

Sania Mirza (R), Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik (L) and Sania's mother Naseema Mirza smile during the wedding ceremony
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Subroto Roy blesses India's tennis player Sania Mirza

Subroto Roy (L), chairman of Sahara India, blesses India's tennis player Sania Mirza (C) as Sania's father Imran Mirza (2nd L) and her mother Naseema Mirza (R) watch during the wedding ceremony in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad April 12, 2010.
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Sania mirza with her family @ wedding

Shoaib Malik, left and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza , sit as they pose for photographs during their marriage ceremony in Hyderabad, India on Monday April 12 2010. The union of two of South Asia's best known sports personalities came amid a controversy caused by another Indian woman, Ayesha Siddique, who claimed she was already married to Malik. Last week, Muslim elders brokered a divorce between the pair, clearing the way for the wedding. Also seen standing are from left, Sania Mirza's father Imran Mirza, sister Anam Mirza, Malik's mother Sultana Farooq and Sania's mother Naseema Mirza.
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Sania Mirza react during their marriage ceremony

Sania Mirza react during their marriage ceremony in Hyderabad, India on Monday April 12, 2010
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Friday, April 16, 2010

At last Sania Mirza married

Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza married Monday after a troubled engagement in a union that bridges the two nations' bitter sporting and political divide.

The wedding was the final chapter in a complex and often contradictory saga during which Malik consistently denied claims by an Indian woman, Ayesha Siddiqui, that she had married the cricketer in 2002.

The ceremony took place in the presence of family and friends at a hotel in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, Mirza's spokeswoman Rucha Naik said.

"The (wedding) has just been completed. Please pray for the couple," Naik told reporters.

The marriage was originally scheduled for April 15. The Press Trust of India cited family sources as saying it had been brought forward after Muslim clerics in Hyderabad criticised the fact that Malik was living in his future bride's house before the wedding.

Shoaib moves out of Sania's house b4 wedding

Amid hectic wedding preparations, Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik in keeping with customs has moved out of Sania Mirza's house before their marriage on April 15 though his family members are staying at her place.

The clarification came from Sania's spokesperson after a fatwa was issued by Sunni Ulema Board which said that a bride and the groom staying in the same house before marriage is un-Islamic and unacceptable.

When contacted, the All India Sunni Ulema Board distanced itself from the fatwa.

"We have nothing to do with this outfit. Such fatwas cannot be issued," AISUB spokesperson said.

Shoaib-Sania a hit masala on Pak TV

With the Sania Mirza-Shoaib Malik wedding only a few days away, Pakistani TV channels are busy running special shows some serious, some not-so-serious on the couple.

In a special edition of Geo News' religious chat show 'Aalim Online', host Aamir Liaquat Hussain, referred to by his numerous detractors as 'Jaahil Online', talked about the importance of the 'nikaah' to a virtuous woman.

He told his audience that a man should marry a woman who is 'respectful', not someone who is rich, famous and beautiful. He also rebuked cricketer Shoaib Malik for making fun of the 'nikaah'.

"Whatever has happened to Shoaib (vis-a-vis Indian woman Ayesha Siddiqui who claimed to be married to him) is his own doing. He has made a 'tamasha' of nikaah, with the whole world asking if nikaah can be done on the phone or not," Hussain said.

He even spoke to Ayesha Siddiquis father on the show. "Why did you allow your daughter to meet him, speak to him on the sly? Why did you not object then?" Hussain also gave a sermon on the fact that Pakistanis should not get too excited because they were getting a 'bahu' from 'Bharat'.

He said Shoaib had done his "setting" and was now practicing "dance". Hum Sab Umeed Sai Hain, the same channels flagship humour show, shot a parody on the couple.

In the spoof, Shoaib tells the host that his sudden decision to marry was because tennis star Sania has fitness issues and he was free for a year (due to a ban imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board). "We were both free, so we decided to marry," he said.

The Sania lookalike tells the host that she had earlier "practiced" how to get engaged and now she was practicing to marry and she was sure that she'd win the "final round".

She said in tennis, "love" means nothing "zero". Asked if she was happy with her decision, she said, "My family is saying I am happy, so I must be happy!"

Another spoof has hard line ideologue Zahid Hamid criticizing the Indo-Pakistan marriage, saying that Shoaib was being "unfair" to his country and that this marriage was not "valid".

When reminded that Sania was a Muslim, the spoof quoted Hamid as saying: "If you're a Hindu Hindustani, you're a Hindu first then a Hindustani, and if you're a Non-Hindu Hindustani, you are still a Hindu first and then a Hindustani."

On other channels, talk show hosts are doing specials on the couple asking designers what Sania should wear for her wedding, discussing how a storyline would unfold if a serial was planned on their lives, and even a possible book on whether the marriage last.

supporters of Ayesha Siddiqui, protests

supporters of Ayesha Siddiqui, who claims she married Pakistan cricketer Shoab Malik in 2002, protest against Malik in front of her residence in Hyderabad on April 6. The celebrity wedding of Malik and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza was back on track Wednesday after he "divorced" another woman
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cricket bats which carry pictures of Indian tennis star Sania Mirza

A Pakistani shop keeper shows cricket bats which carry pictures of Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and Pakistan's former cricket captain Shoaib Malik in Malik's hometown of Sialkot Pakistan on Friday, April 9, 2010.
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Sania Mirza and Pakistan’s former cricket captain Shoaib Malik,

FILE - In this Monday, April 5, 2010 file photo, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, left, and Pakistan’s former cricket captain Shoaib Malik, right, address the media in Hyderabad, India. A Muslim imam chosen to conduct the planned wedding between Malik and Mirza says the pair have moved up the ceremony
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Sania, Shoaib iving together before marriage ???

Tennis star Sania Mirza's marriage with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik has sparked another row with some religious scholars issuing a 'fatwa' or religious edict against their living and mingling freely even before the marriage is solemnised.

Sunni Ulema Board, a group of religious scholars, said both the sportspersons were bringing disrepute to Islam and Muslim community through their actions.

The board issued a 'fatwa' terming their actions 'haram' (forbidden) and asked Muslims to stay away from the April 15 marriage.

'The kind of actions the two are indulging in like living together and addressing media together are 'haram' in Islam,' said Moulana Haseebul Hasan Siddiqui, a religious scholar.

Shoaib has been staying at Sania's residence here for more than a week and television pictures showed them dancing and doing physical exercises together.

'Islam permits a man and woman to see each other only once before marriage and it does not allow them to live together and indulge in this sort of activities before marriage,' he said.

He felt that all the actions of Sania and Shoaib were bringing a bad name to Islam and the Muslim community and advised invitees to stay away from their marriage as men and women would mingle freely there in total disregard of Islamic principles.

'Muslims should stay away from such gatherings where men and women mingle freely in violation of Islamic principles,' he said.

The religious scholar had also issued a 'fatwa' against Sania Mirza for favouring pre-marital sex three years ago. He had opined that Sania committed a big sin by promoting 'zina' (fornication). The tennis ace, however, denied making the remarks.

Shoaib has already come under criticism from clergy for denying marriage with Ayesha Siddiqui even after admitting that he signed the 'nikahnama'. The Pakistani star last week divorced Ayesha after the latter filed a case of cheating against him.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sania Mirza collects Pak visa, next what Pak citizenship?

Sania Mirza flew into the capital on Tuesday on a brief visit to get her visa to Pakistan where a post-wedding reception is scheduled next month.

Accompanied by her mother, the 23-year-old Mirza, went to the Pakistan High Commission and completed the formalities.

"We have got the visa. We are happy. Now that we have got the visa, we will be travelling to Pakistan", her mother Nasima Mirza told reporters.

Sania herself declined to comment on the impending marriage. "I am not answering any questions", she told reporters.

Nasima said the family was very happy with Sania's decision. "We are very happy about her decision. We are all with her and Inshallah we wish all the best to her," she said.

Her mother refused to talk about Sania's previous engagement with childhood friend Sohrab Mirza. "I don't want to comment on what all happened in the past and we should all look ahead," she said.

After Pakistani news channel Geo TV broke the news, the Mirza household confirmed the development late in the night through a statement.

A statement by Sania's father Imran Mirza said Sania and Malik will be based in Dubai, where the cricketer is a resident.

"This is a unique case where the husband and wife will represent their respective countries in sport," Imran said in the statement.

"My wedding Inshallah is going to be the biggest day of my life. I have been in the constant glare for too long and would appreciate privacy at this very personal moment in my life," Sania was quoted as having said in a statement.

While the marriage is likely to be held on April 11 or 12 in Hyderabad, the 'Walima' or reception is expected to be held in Lahore on April 16 or 17.