Ace tennis player Sania Mirza on Wednesday recalled the contribution of her parents when she took up the sport, and how they dealt with people's jibes and mocking.
"I started playing tennis when I was six years old, at a time when a girl playing tennis in Hyderabad was unheard of. I came from a family full of cricketers, including my dad," said Sania, who is married to cricketer Shoaib Malik.
She was speaking after the launch of UN Women's anthem "Mujhe Haq Hai".
"When my parents actually said (that) she is going to play tennis, my aunts and uncles were like 'kali ho jayegi dekhna, koi shaadi nahi karega' (her skin will darken and nobody will marry her)....," remembered Sania, a winner of six Grand Slam titles.
"I thought my dad is the greatest hero because he stood up against everyone and said that I don't care. They use to mock my parents and say what do you think, that your daughter is going to become a Martina Hingis? The fate had it that I had to win three of my Grand Slams with Martina Hingis," Sania added.
Sania also touched on the subject of parity in prize money for men and women in the sport.
"...till today we fight for equal prize money, we have to justify why (as) a tennis player we should make the same prize money that the men do.. so that means this inequality is everywhere in this world, not just in this part of the world," she added.
Sania, who is pregnant, revealed that her husband wants a girl. "And a secret is that my husband wants a girl very badly," she said.
Kashmiri girl Tajamul Islam, who won the World Kick-boxing championship in 2016, also attended the event.