Aisam-ul-Haq

Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi  (born 17 March 1980, in Lahore, Pakistan) is a professional tennis player from Pakistan. He is currently Pakistan’s top player. A top-10 doubles player, his highest singles ranking was no. 103. He is the only Pakistani tennis player to reach the final of a Grand Slam, which he did in 2010, competing in both mixed doubles (partnering with Květa Peschke) and men’s doubles (partnering with Rohan Bopanna) at the US Open. Qureshi teamed with Israeli player Amir Hadad during Wimbledon and the US Open tournaments in 2002. The duo won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award for playing together despite pressure from their communities. As Pakistani no. 1, Qureshi has traditionally led Pakistan’s Davis Cup campaigns.
 
After shocking New Zealand in the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I second round play-off in 2004 to survive relegation, he took them to the World Group Play-Offs for the first time in 2005, before they were beaten by Chile. He has won the most Davis Cup matches for Pakistan, being the most successful singles and doubles player from his country ever. He is also half of the most successful doubles pairing for Pakistan (with Aqeel Khan) in the country’s sporting history. Qureshi is now a member of the “Champions for Peace” club, a group of 54 athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organisation.[1]Aisam and his partner Rohan Bopanna created a campaign, Stop War Start Tennis, with their goal to play a match on the border joining India and Pakistan.

Early life

Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi was born in a Muslim family and grew up in Lahore, Pakistan, swimming and playing cricket and football. He started playing tennis late at age of 14, when his maternal grandfather and first coach, Adil Mansoor Tipu, a former 10-time national champion, took him to a tennis club Model Town, Lahore. His maternal grandfather, Adil Mansoor Tipu, was the All-British India champion, before Pakistan split from British India in 1947. His mother, Nosheen Ihtsham, was also a former women’s tennis champion.[2][3][4] At age 16, the ITF sponsored him for two years. He won the Pakistan International Junior Championships and went on to win the Casablanca Cup in Mexico and the LTA International Junior Championships in Roehampton, where he beat Olivier Rochus, Andy Ram, and Taylor Dent. In the World Super Junior Championships, he beat Andy Roddick.[5] By 18, he was a top-20 junior player and decided to turn pro. Aisam was educated at the University of Punjab.[6]

Coaches

As a junior, he was coached by LTA. Aisam has been coached by American Robert Davis since 1998. Robert Davis has served as national coach for Peru, Panama, Thailand, and Indonesia. As a writer, he contributes to the ATP’s Deuce Magazine, Tennis Magazine USA, tennis.com, Tennis Magazine Australia, and ITF publications, as well as non-sporting publications and newspapers.

Playing style

Qureshi prefers the quicker grass courts and has had seen his greatest success on grass and hard courts. His playing style is serve-and-volley, relying on his serve to win him points by putting pressure in his opponents.

Sponsorship

Qureshi’s clothing and shoes sponsor is Lotto. On 29 March 2008, Aisam signed an agreement with Pepsi for sponsorship of coach for one year. He became the first sportsman who wasn’t a cricketer to star in a Pepsi advert and become one of their brand ambassadors.

Awards and accolades

In November 2010 Aisam was appointed The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) goodwill ambassador.[7]Aisam was awarded the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year, for 2010 along with his doubles tennis partner Rohan Bopanna of India.[8][9]Along with Rohan Bopanna, Aisam received the 2010 “Peace and Sport Image of the Year” award,[10] in recognition of their dedicated efforts to spread the message of peace through sport. He was also given the Pakistan President’s Award for Performance in 2002, the Salam Pakistan Youth Award by the President of Pakistan in 2007 and was runner-up for the 2003 Anne Frank Award For Moral Courage by the Anne Frank Trust, UK. In 2011, he was awarded Lux Style Award for Most Stylish Sports Person.[11][12
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