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Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Friday, 10 July 2009 18:04 UK

Security tight for engaged star

By Omer Farooq in Hyderabad

Sania Mirza with Sohrab Mirza at the engagement
Sania Mirza is ranked 85 in world women's tennis

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza has held a lavish engagement ceremony amid tight security, following the unwanted attentions of love rivals.

Ms Mirza was officially betrothed to family friend Sohrab Mirza.

The five-star hotel where the glittering traditional ceremony took place was surrounded by policemen.

They wanted to ensure there was no attempt by "stalkers and lovelorn youths" to disturb what was a glamorous occasion with few expenses spared.

Security was tightened after two men allegedly tried to barge in to Ms Mirza's home over the last week demanding she marry them. Both allegedly claimed to be smitten by her beauty and said they had fallen in love with her.

As part of the security arrangements, police only allowed 300 guests carrying individual invitation cards into the hotel. The media were not welcome inside the venue.

Diamond ring

According to the family sources, Sohrab Mirza, son of local businessman Adil Mirza, put an exquisite diamond ring - worth $205,000 - onto Ms Mirza's finger and also offered family jewellery as a mark of his affection.

Ms Mirza, 23, wore a traditional Hyderabadi bridal dress in golden and pink colours bought by the groom's family.

She was accompanied by her mother Naseema Bano, father Imran Mirza and younger sister Anam.

Imran Mirza, Sania's father, has said that the marriage was arranged by the families who knew each other for a long time.

Sohrab, who has graduated in commerce and has plans to go to London to pursue his further education, said he was immensely happy.

His family will present a total of 11 different dresses to Ms Mirza, in keeping with local custom.

Mr Mirza appeared unfazed by recent unsavoury incidents outside the home of his fiancee in which the two men professed their love for her.

"It is natural given the popularity Sania enjoys," said one of his acquaintances.

All the excitement generated by the engagement notwithstanding, both sides are in no hurry for the wedding.

Imran Mirza said the marriage would take place only after two years.

"Sania will continue to play tennis until then," he said.

There has been huge media excitement about the event, with teams of camera crews and reporters gathering outside the hotel.

In a career often hit by injuries, Sania Mirza touched a high of 34 in world rankings and is currently placed at 85.



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SEE ALSO
Second arrest at Sania Mirza home
09 Jul 09 |  South Asia
Sania Mirza admirer is arrested
08 Jul 09 |  South Asia

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