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Sania Mirza shuts down Rajdeep Sardesai's sexist questions in interview following autobiography release

Mirza was questioned on 'settling down' and motherhood and responded in scathing fashion.

Sania mirza martina hingis wimbeldon
Wimbledon 2015 champion Sania Mirza and doubles partner Martina Hingis hold their trophies aloft

Doubles World No. 1 Sania Mirza recently released her autobiography, Ace Against All Odds, in Mumbai, with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan doing the honours.

The Grand Slam winner was interviewed by veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai following the release.

Her book, co-written with Mirza and her father, tennis coach Imran, details the 29-year-old's long journey in the game, detailing the start of her career in the singles, the trials the player went through, and the difficulties she and the Mirza family had to overcome in helping Sania reach the heights she would eventually go on to scale.

In the interview, the Mumbai-based journalist posed sexist questions to the 4-time doubles Grand Slam winner, whose partner Martina Hingis wrote the foreword to her book.

The journalist repeatedly posed questions to Mirza about her personal life, making references to her marriage to Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik before pointedly asking her about her ‘future.’

“When are you going to settle down? India? Dubai? What about motherhood, building your family? It seems that you don't want to retire just yet to become a mother. What’s beyond tennis? You don’t discuss this in the book,” Sardesai said.

Mirza delivered a sharp riposte, asking Sardesai why he sounded “disappointed that I am not choosing motherhood over being No. 1 in the world.”

Despite being just as accomplished, if not more, than men in their respective careers, women are repeatedly asked about families, home management and balancing their personal lives – questions not often posed to their male equivalents.

In reference to this, Mirza said “As women, this is a question we have to face all the time. No matter how many Wimbledons we win or Number Ones we become, we aren’t settled.”

She continued, “I hope that a few years from now, when a girl is 29, she isn’t asked the question about when she is going to have a child when she is number one in the world.”

Sardesai went on to apologise, acknowledging that he would not have asked the question of Mirza if she had been a male athlete.

Watch the interview in its entirety here:

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