Aisam aims for grand slam, top ranking

Pakistan’s top tennis player hopes for an improved showing next year.


Fawad Hussain December 06, 2010

KARACHI: Pakistan tennis star Asiamul Haq Qureshi is aiming for more laurels next year following a stunning 2010 in which he attained unreached heights for a Pakistani tennis player, making it the best year in the sport’s history for the country.

The success in the year, according to Qureshi, has given him more confidence and hunger to achieve more feats for the country.

“It was the best year for Pakistan tennis and I am delighted to have played a main role in it,” Qureshi told The Express Tribune. “The year has given me confidence that I can earn more for my country.”

The tennis star became the first Pakistani to play in the US Open final, featuring in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles at Flushing Meadows this year. He also became the first Pakistani to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals with his Indian partner Rohan Bopanna as well as playing in various events with him throughout the year.

Qureshi recounted his doubles victory in February at an ATP tournament in Johannesburg as memorable and termed it vital that set impending success.

“The championship we won in Johannesburg was vital because it was our first ATP title that gave us confidence for doing more.”

Last month, Qureshi also became the first sports person to receive the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year Award twice after picking it for this year after winning it in 2003. The star player was honoured with President’s Sitarae Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) Award for his achievement in Wimbledon. Besides, he was given the award in London last month for his ‘Stop War, Start Tennis’ initiative that aims to spread the message of peace between India and Pakistan.

“I would not forget the glory I achieved throughout this year. The President award and the second Arthur Humanitarian award were like a dream come true.”

Qureshi makes a New Year’s resolution

Qureshi, in his 30s, remains confident he can carry on the success going into a new year.

“I would rest and train this month to prepare for the next season. My biggest dream of winning a grand slam is yet to come true and that would be my main aim in 2011,” said Qureshi who achieved a career-best individual doubles ranking of 18 besides finishing the year ranked as the eighth best doubles pair in the world with Bopanna.

“Our pair can become the top-ranked pair next year and that is what we have in our minds. I would also try to improve my individual rankings.” He also hit back at critics who questioned his availability for the country. “I have given them an answer through my performance. I have just crossed 30 and enjoying the best of my form and fitness. A player can serve even in late thirties as long as he keeps himself fit.”

Ready to work for tennis promotion

Qureshi said he was ready to work with the newly-elected Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) officials for the promotion of game.

“I am always ready to work for tennis promotion. I met PTF President Kalim Imam and found him to be very enthusiastic towards the game which was very encouraging.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2010.

COMMENTS (1)

R.A.Ch | 10 years ago | Reply I wish that may Allah make his dream come true!!
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