| By Steven Kaplan

Sania Mirza is now the world's number one ranked doubles player, and that is a remarkable achievement.

To put this accomplishment in perspective, consider that Mirza is the first female from India ranked number one in the world in any professional sport and no Indian woman had been ranked in the top 100 before Sania Mirza (she reached a high ranking of 27th in the world in singles in 2007).

Mirza has been a source of controversy, having been attacked by Fundamentalists who believe that women should not be allowed to play tennis at all and by ultra-nationalists outraged by her marriage to Pakistani Cricket star Shaib Malik.

Sania Mirza is an inspiration and a role model for athletes everywhere.

Steven Kaplan

Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation, and executive director and founder of Serve &Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally- ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.