Aisam ul Haq – Doubles and Mixed Doubles Matches
Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi seems to be making waves in the world of tennis these days. Hailing from Pakistan, the 30-year old Lahori Muslim has been, of late, causing a sensation in the doubles and mixed doubles tournaments. His recent victories with partners Rohan Bopanna and Kveta Peschka have made him the first Muslim player to enter the mixed and men’s doubles of the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.
Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi turned pro in 1998. He finished number seven in the world in 1998 as a junior player, and his highest singles rank is 103rd. He is a top 50 doubles player and was also the former Asian third seed. His specialty is grass courts, though he does well on hard courts. His signature stroke is the serve-and-volley.
Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi is not his nationality or his religion, or even his game in itself, it is the unlikely partnership with Rohan Bopanna which has propelled him to his position as one of the top doubles teams in the US Open 2010 Tournament. Bopanna is an Indian Hindu, and the doubles pair have been using their friendship, one and off the court, as a call for the resolution of the conflict between their two countries, Pakistan and India. The two players admit that they are asked questions about their unlikely partnership, but they also state that “you could not differentiate between us, as it was the same country before partition. So it's just the same as going with [anybody] and playing together. We complement each other with our styles.”
Qureshi and Bopanna have successfully defeated Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia in straight sets (6-3, 6-4) to enter the next round in men’s doubles, for the US Open 2010. Qureshi’s team with Bopanna is the 16th seed, whereas Nestor and Zimonjic are the second-seeded team. They have now advanced to the quarterfinals, making this their second consecutive quarterfinal at one of the majors.
The Indian-Pakistani South Asian pair is ranked 15th in the ATP team rankings. Qureshi and Bopanna's next opponents are the number nine seeds Wesley Moodey of South Africa and Dick Norman of Belgium, against whom they will be competing in the semi finals.
Qureshi and Bopanna have had a successful run this year, with Qureshi winning his maiden ATP title at the 2010 SA Tennis Open. They were runners-up at the 2010 Grand Prix Hassan II, which was their 2nd ATP of the year. This is also the year in which this team reached their first ever Grand Slam quarterfinals at the 2010 Wimbledon Tournament. Before appearing for competition in the US Open 2010, the team also competed in the 2010 Legg Mason Tennis Classic, reaching as far as the semi finals.
In this same tournament, Qureshi has also partnered with the Czech tennis player Kveta Peschke in mixed doubles. Qureshi and Peschke’s team beat the eight-seeded team of American player Vania King and Romania’s Horia Tecau in the first round. They advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova and Austria’s Julian Knowle. Their latest victory is a win over Gisela Dulko from Argentina and Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay, promoting them to the semi finals.