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In appreciation of Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi

In appreciation of Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi

Spot-fixers, cheats, runners up, dopers – the list will go on except for one Pakistani sportsman, who continues to make the right kind sports news year after year. It seems like Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi has taken over the responsibility of lifting the nation’s sporting image. The fact that less people know about his feat of becoming the first Pakistani (among several other firsts) to enter the men’s and mixed doubles quarterfinals at a grand slam tennis tournament, than three Pakistani’s facing the possibility of life bans from cricket is unfortunate, to say the least. Or that the world media is not flashing images of him and Rohan Bopanna – his doubles partner from India – as they continue blasting away the big names of men’s doubles tennis as often as those of the accused cricketers on ill-fated tabloid covers, is also a shame. But then again, it always seems as if success stories here don’t sell as much as controversy does.

When I interviewed him five months back, Aisam proudly told me about his best-ever ATP doubles ranking of 51. He has come a long way since then. Not only has he leapt his way to number 34 in men’s doubles rankings, Aisam and his partner Rohan are the world’s 15th best pair. Add to that their Wimbledon quarterfinal finish, their win over world number one pair of Bob and Mike Bryan and most recently, their comprehensive shock win over number two seeds Nenand Nimonjic and Daniel Nestor at the US Open. The fact that Pakistani masses do not follow tennis is understandable, but for the media to put this lone warrior’s march right at the end of news bulletins, is regretful. This, despite him pairing up with an ‘arch-rival’ Indian player, and making ripples, if not waves, in respected sports magazines

Being in the top 50 has also enabled Aisam to play mixed doubles on the ATP Tour for the first time in his career. Having paired up with Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic, Aisam has landed himself in two back-to-back grand-slam quarterfinals for the first time in his career.

We keep saying that our cricketers let us down when the nation was in need of some solace from the devastating last few weeks (months, even). Well, here’s a guy who has given us something to cheer about. How about giving him some long overdue appreciation? He may hold a racquet in his hand instead of a bat, but hey, at least he is making all the right moves. He is a man who is doing Pakistan proud so let’s just stop pelting the poor donkeys and put our hands together for the man who is already Pakistan’s most successful tennis player in history. Thank you, Aisam, for giving us a reason to read ‘real’ sports news for a change.

Hafsa Adil is a sports editor at Dawn.com.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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192 Responses to “In appreciation of Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi”

  1. umer says:

    congrats.

  2. Irfan Hussain (London) says:

    Thank you Aisam for giving us happiness !! may God bless you always and you keep winning.

  3. Zohaib says:

    all the best aisam,, i hope he breaks into top 5 soon- inshAllah

  4. nehan khalid says:

    It sounded out of the world when he praised his country infront of the whole world…Its really diffcult to deceide whats more inspirational,his game or his character…For me he is the only the WINNER..the CHAMP…Thanks AISAM !!!

  5. Arsalan Zia says:

    Have no words to describe his and his teammate devotion for the country……………

    Both are already winner for me. Win or loss in the final dont matter to me anymore.

  6. Noman says:

    Way to go Aisam-ul-Haqq You have made the whole nation proud of you at a time when the cricketers have tainted the image so badly and it goes on to show that there is more to Pakistan then just coruption,bombings,Taliban n Match-Fixing! Long Live Pakistan.

  7. Huma Rizwan says:

    Well done Aisan!! We are very proud of you. At a time when things are going so bad for our country you have lifted our spirits. You are an inspiration for the youth of Pakistan.

  8. Abdul Aziz says:

    This a great laural Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi has brought for Pakistan in these tough times for Pakistan, as he has reached finals of both mixed doubles and doubles, & become the 1st Pakistani to do so, even if he loses (which I don’t like to say); thumbs up for Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, keep it up, we pray for you.

  9. Ahmed from Doha says:

    All the best Aisam

  10. auranzeb says:

    We were proud of you and you have made our nation to be more proud. We all pray that you would give a great news to nation in this time of distress. We Pakistanis all love you as you are second to none in your field.

  11. Maz hasan says:

    Give him a bat & he will do the rest, well said. Aisam, a 98 turned pro has been on the circuit for 12 years now.One needs a million $ to become a player of this caliber. Most of them are trained in Florida Academies.More info on usopen.org…. His performance this year has been phenomenal. Both Aisam & Rohan , in 30s are now ranked 16th(doubles). What an achievement. This year they played all 4 grand slams, US open being the best they ever had.
    Big days ahead, mixed double final against Liezel Huber/Bob Bryan, ranked #1, both of US on Thursday and mens doubles on Friday. Excllent! hope the wind blows his way!Good luck Duos. Give this Nation something to celebrate!

  12. Waqas Rasool says:

    Proud of You !!!! AisaM!

  13. jssidhoo says:

    Pairing with arch rivals is the way ahead for India & Pakistan maybe their success will show the blind ‘ powers that be’ in our countries the way

  14. Vin says:

    Dear Folks,
    I am so thrilled with this partnership and I hope they win!
    Though, I think I am very broadminded in thinking, when it came to help Pakistan for flood relief, I was a bit hesitant and actually thinking about it!!
    Then I saw on TV, all the Pakistani people suffering in the camps..! They looked just like my family… nothing different..
    I immediately took the phone and pledged some money!
    I think all the differences are in our own heads…and if we actually see the people, we see one of our own..!

  15. Junaid Ahmed says:

    Well Done !
    I am very Proud of You . I think he is one of the sportsman in Pakistan who is determined to work for the country in the field of tennis.
    We as a Pakistanis should support him (and his team) as far as possible.
    Furthermore, Aisam-Ul-Haq should also be given MORE media coverage and his match should be live telecast through PTV as he is representing Pakistan there. Good Luck Aisal-ul-Haq

  16. Gaurav Dixit says:

    Awesome news, not only these two are a majestic couple, yet they are hinting something, isn’t? If we unite, not only we can do wonders, we can defeat the enemy within state of ours. Hell, i would pay anything to both cricket unite, “sehwag” opening with “afridi”, Gul bowling deadly yorkers along side with zaheer. But sadly the formula british applied a long time back, still haunt us. Divide and rule! People are still same but instead of Britishers we have few politicians who wont let this die.

  17. Adil says:

    They just moved to the FINALS of the US Open Mens doubles !!!!!!

    I saw the whole match in my office.

    Keep on rolling Aisam !!!

  18. Shahid Malik says:

    Aisam has now reached the FINALS of both the Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles at the 2010 US Open! Quite a feat!! Congratulations Aisam and all Pakistan Tennis fans.

  19. Madhu Lall says:

    Give him a bat, maybe he would do better than the pakistani cricket team put together!

    • Hassan says:

      Hahaha well said Madhu… I am not sure if he will do better or not but one thing for sure, we will know that he is playing with honesty and didn’t fix the match. Having said that it is better for him not to hold a bat if not the next thing we know that the match-fixing pakistani cricketing culture went in his tennis culture…. hahaha

  20. Maria S says:

    I meant go get’em guys :-)

  21. M ADAM KHAN says:

    I don’t know why every body start supporting in the end. Before supporting previous achievements of Aisam people or media disappeared. No Pakistan government no media of Pakistan supported him. Aisam ul haq is a great asset of Pakistan and he has reached on this level by himself. Shame on Pakistan Government. I request to media and Pakistan government please keep supporting him and tennis. Inshaallah Aisam will win this final, if he does win, it will be great achievement than 1992 cricket world cup.

  22. Maria S says:

    His achievements and that of his of his team members is truly remarkable. Winning against odds.
    I would like to comment on Aisam’s personal achievements; it is quite a remarkable feat given the time he has been on the tour. I believe he started around 18 years old.

    It is very heartening to see that he has worked very hard and never given up on chasing his dreams. No doubt he came across some bumps in the road along the way but his determination and hard work is really to be commended. Hats off to his efforts and that of his team, his family and supporters. Here is wishing him continued success. Got get’em guys!

  23. HS says:

    Very excited and glad to hear the news :)
    The nations salutes u Aisam :) !! U are our pride , keep it up !! All our prayers are with you !!!

  24. sayra says:

    Aisam we r so v proud of u!
    Best of luck to Aisam & Rohan for the final! Keep the spirits high!!!

  25. Tausif Ahmed Khan says:

    Hi Aisam and Rohan,

    You both guys set a feather of proud for both of the nations. Thanks a lot for giving the nation a cheer in such a situation where whole the nation is down. You have played such a great game and I wish you a Very Best Of Luck for both the events. May you win both of them.

    Thanks again.

  26. kamranM says:

    Very excited to see him in the final and semifinal of a grand slam although would have preferred if he wouldn’t have paired with an Indian.

    Best of Luck Aisam for upcoming matches.

    • Afz says:

      In men’s Tennis, Aisam at present is the most revered Asian player. In doubles he can be compared with only Paes while in singles he is second only to Nishikori. I too think that he is wasting his potential playing with Bopanna. He should team up with Mirnyi or Zimonic. And he should also concentrate on singles… he is our best bet for a Commonwealth or Asiad Gold this year.

      • Sid says:

        Well Afz, Aisam is certainly a very good player. But how can you disrespect Bopanna like that for no reason? Besides the other part of your comment was pretty strange too. Was there any reason to bring in people like (12 Grand slam, 8 ATP masters winner & Olympic, Asiad medallist) Leander Paes at all? Or was there any reason to ignore Bhupathi(11 slam, 12 ATP masters, Asian games medallist) even if you decided to start that mindless comparison of present Asian players? Besides in singles if he is second only to Nishikori then where does Yen-soon loo, Denis Istomin or a certain Somdev dev burman stand? Don’t get me wrong but why is it so important to humiliate an Indian even when your own Aisam is shining so bright and doesn’t need that type of hypocrisy?

    • PSPUVACHA says:

      Kamran,
      unfortunately thanks to people like you who want to see “bad things” even in “good Development” there will never be total peace in this part of the world.. people like you instead of “watering” the plant unconditionally you’d like to take the decision of watering based on who ” planted” the plant.. though in reality the plant will give the same benefits irrespective who planted it..

    • Salil says:

      That was a terrible comment. Aisam is a good player. You should be proud of him not only for his sporting feet but also at the courage for overcoming all the odds of pairing with an Indian. Kudos. If all Indians and Pakistanis have the courage shown by these two, the world would have been a different place. I salute you guys.

    • Punter says:

      At this point of time, I’ll call your mentality – cheap..

    • benign says:

      For God sake, for once leave politics and take sport as a sport. Becuase of people like you, we have not progressed as a nation, always gettign a bad image in the world. Whats wrong being paired with an Indian. Arent dey humans? Grow up please. Its high time we should get ourself acts together. Peace

    • jssidhoo says:

      Dear kamranM India & Pakistan have tried hate & enmity for the last 60 odd yrs . This tennis duo’s success is telling us to think again

  27. Irfan Hussain says:

    Unfortunately, I have not seen any news channel or newspaper giving proper coverage to this ‘lone wolf’ except this news paper. The only reason of this inappropriate attitude I can think about, is that frustrating and controversial news are easier to be sold than the great news like “A Pakistani tennis player has reached to mixed doubles finals and men’s doubles semi despite all the challenges”.

    OK, we can blame the foreign media being biased to Pakistanis as a nation!! but what about the local news channels, who give the “breaking news” of an accident between donkey cart and a rickshaw, but don’t bother to telecast the matches of Aisam and even don’t give appropriate time for his success. This is the reason why most of the Pakistanis perhaps don’t recognise Aisam and would be totally unaware of his recent success stories from Wimbledon to New York.

    We are now tired of looking at the repeated video of a middle man displaying & counting money on a table, now we want the smiling and successful face of Aisam ul Haq covered by the main stories.

    • Rija Zaidi says:

      One of our local channel is more interestred to show champions league cricket where no one from Pakistan is playing nor any Pakistani team/club is invited. Why this local channel is so keen to show Indian league matches instead of Aisam matches in US Open – I have no idea!!!

    • Vijay Shah says:

      Well said, Mr Husain!
      Qureshi is the mixed doubles finals!
      Qureshi/Bopanna is also in the mens doubles semi final!
      A remrakable achievement for him personally and for Pakistan as a nation.

      The media covergage is not good because very often newsmedia blindly reproduce what the Western Media covers (with the same ‘importance’ as AP, AFP and Reuters give to Asian successes!)….

  28. Syed Imad says:

    I don’t know about everyone else but I’ve had enough of cricket.

  29. Faisal Taimoor Khan says:

    He plays in true sports spirit he deserves some government recognition.

    • sb says:

      Oh please keep the Government and Beaureucracy away from them – they do not do any good. My hats off to both of them. In the finals – good luck.

  30. Aamir BHATTI says:

    All the best Aisam!! We all wish u good luck!! May lady luck smiles on you on ur D day!!
    U made us feel proud!! At least we got a soft image news for the rest of the world!!
    Thanks!! and GOOD LUCK.


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