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|Joined: 26 Feb 2010
| Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi - profile, interview & pictures
Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi was born on March 17th, 1980, in Lahore. He is a professional tennis player from Pakistan. He is the Pakistani Number 1. A top 50 doubles player, his highest Singles Race ranking is 103rd and is the former Asian number 3.
Aisam had a successful career in Junior tennis, finishing No. 7 in the world in 1998, which made him Pakistan's highest-ranked player ever on the international youth tennis arena and turned pro in 1998.
He excels at grass courts, and his playing style is serve-and-volley.
Aisam teamed with Israeli player Amir Hadad during Wimbledon and the US Open tournaments in 2002. Together, they were eliminated at the 3rd round of Wimbledon, and then in the Second round at the US Open. They both won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award for playing together despite pressure from their communities.
As Pakistan number one, he has led Pakistan's Davis Cup campaign. 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 ever. He also has the best doubles pairing for Pakistan with Aqeel Khan.
In 2007 he reached the second round at Wimbledon and later in July at Campbell's Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, USA he reached the quarter-finals. In September 2007, he reached his first ATP doubles final with Indian Rohan Bopanna at the Kingfisher Airlines Tennis Open in Mumbai, India, where they lost to Robert Lindstedt and Jarkko Nieminen.
In the 2008 Campbell's Hall of Fame Championships, in Newport, Rhode Island, United States, he and Bopanna were 4th seeds, and were favourites to win the final but lost out to Mardy Fish and John Isner, 4–6 6–7.
On 3 November 2009 Qureshi partnered up with James Cerretani of the United States to defeat Singles World No.1 Roger Federer and his partner Marco Chiudinelli at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors in Basel, Switzerland.
He reached a breakthrough in his career in 7 February 2010 when he won his first ever ATP doubles title, when he with Bopanna defeated Slovakian Karol Beck with his Israeli partner Harel Levy 2–6 6–3 [10–5] to win the SA Tennis Open title.
He reached his second final of 2010 at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca but he and Bopanna lost out to Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecău 2–6, 6–3, [7–10].
They continued their good form being finalists in the Open de Nice Côte d’Azur in France, and despite a good start, they lost to Brazilian third seeds Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares 6–1 3–6 [5–10].
He is now a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of 40 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Monaco-based international organization Peace and Sport
Aisam, grew up in Lahore, Pakistan, swimming and playing cricket and football. He started playing tennis late at age of 14 when his mother and first coach, Nausheen Ihtisham, a former 10-time national champion who represented Pakistan in the Fed Cup, took him to a tennis club.
His maternal grandfather, Khawaja Iftikhar, was the All-India champion before Pakistan split from India in 1947.
At age 16, the ITF sponsored him for two years. He won the Pakistan International Junior Championships and went on to win more, such as 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. By 18, he was a Top 20 junior player, and decided to turn pro.
As a junior, he was coached by LTA. As a pro Aisam was coached by American, Robert Davis, an International Sports Writer and former Davis Cup and National Coach for Peru, Panama and Thailand. He is currently coached by Brazilian, Rodrigo Nascimento.
Aisam clothing and shoes sponsor is Lotto. On March 29, 2008, Aisam signed an agreement with Pepsi for sponsorship of coach for one year.
In September 25, he played his first Davis Cup match against Danai Udomchoke, winning 6–3 6–3 6–3. Paired with Mohamed-Khaliq Siddiq they won the doubles match 6–4 6–3 6–1. They helped Pakistan beat Thailand 3–2 for the Asia/Oceania Zone Group II Final and gained promotion to Group I.
In September 28 he played his first pro match, and got into the finals of the doubles future tournament in Japan. His singles career also started well, getting into 2 future level quarter finals in Pakistan and Japan, and ended the year ranked 779th.
Aisam made it into the quarter finals of his first challenger level tournament in Calcutta, but lost to Indian Leander Paes 4–6 3–6. At the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group I quarter-final match against Uzbekistan, Pakistan lost 4–1 with Aisam winning the only rubber. Paired with Dmitri Tomashevich, he won two doubles futures titles in Turkey.
In the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I Relegation Play-off Final, China defeated Pakistan 3–0, which saw them relegated back to Group II. In October went on to win his first futures singles tournament on the hard courts of Indonesia, beating Danai Udomchoke 5–7 7–5 6–3. In Vietnam, Aisam won a doubles futures title with Mark Nielsen. This was followed up by another singles futures win in Bangladesh on clay, winning in straight sets. Aisam ended the year ranked 365th in singles, and 355th in doubles.
In January, he took Pakistan to a 3–2 victory against Hong Kong Asia/Oceania Group II quarter-final. Aisam then began to compete in more on the Challenger circuit, reaching the semi-finals at the Indian Oil Servo Cup in Calcutta in February, defeated by Tuomas Ketola. At the Davis Cup Group II semi-final Pakistan were beaten by Chinese Taipei 3–2, with Aisam winning two of his three rubbers. In May, paired with Dmitri Tomashevich, he reached the semis of the Samarkand Challenger in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. At The LTA Manchester Challenger, in Manchester, UK, Aisam made it to the semi-finals with partner Jamie Delgado.
In July, he took part at the Ted Open, at Istanbul, Turkey, where he made it to the quarter-finals, but was beaten by Oleg Ogorodov 4–6 7–5 6–3. Returning to the UK, he played at the LTA Men's Challenger in Wrexham, where he, along with Italian Daniele Bracciali, won in the final 6–4 6–2. With that Aisam also won his first Challenger doubles title.
He won a futures doubles title in France with Israeli Noam Behr. Together, they participated at the Bukhara Challenger, in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, where they reached the final. Aisam won a futures single title in Vietnam, beating Jaroslav Levinský 3–6 6–2 6–3, and at the same tournament won a doubles title with Ashley Fisher. Aisam ended the year winning at the Neride Prague Indoor in Prague, Czech Republic where he partnered Kristian Pless.
He finished 2000 ranked 261st in singles and 211th in doubles.
Aisam participated in his first ATP tournament at the Chennai Open, in Chennai India, with his partner Vadim Kutsenko of Uzbekistan. They won against Czech pair Peter Kovacka and Pavel Kudrnac 6–1 6–7(3) 6–4. However they were knocked out by Zimbabweans Byron Black and Wayne Black 2–6 0–6. At the Davis Cup he was unable to help Pakistan as they lost to Chinese Taipei at the Asia/Oceania Group II quarter-final 3–2. He went to Mumbai, India to play in the MTNL ATP Challenger where he reached the doubles semi-final with Dennis van Scheppingen. At the Heineken Challenger in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, he again made it to the doubles semis, this time paired with Denis Golovanov.
In April at the Davis Cup Relegation Play-off semi-final, he helped Pakistan defeat Syria 5–0. The Fergana Challenger, in Fergana, Uzbekistan, still with Golovanov, they made it to the semi-finals but failed again to progress further. In the UK, he played at The Wrexham Challenger in Wrexham; he progressed to the singles semi-final but was knocked out by Ladislav Švarc 2–6 6–2 6–3. Although he did reach his first Challenger level doubles final of the year, now with new partner Luke Bourgeois they fell at the final hurdle.
Asiam retuned to Uzbekistan to take part in the Samarkand Challenger in Samarkand, where he made it to the quarter-finals in the singles, and with partner Kirill Ivanov-Smolensky, the doubles semi-final. He stayed in Uzbekistan to play at the Bukhara Challenger, in Bukhara and with his Dutch partner Rogier Wassen, they won the final 6–2 6–4.
He won a single futures title in Thailand, beating Yeu-Tzuoo Wang 6–4 4–6 7–5. This followed a second in Vietnam against Yen-Hsun Lu. He rounded off the year with a doubles challenger title with Jaroslav Levinský at the 69th King's Cup in Bangkok, Thailand. Aisam ended the year ranked 251st in singles and 170th in doubles.
In February at the Davis Cup, he won both matches, as Pakistan beat Malaysia 4–1. In the next Davis Cup tie against Chinese Taipei, he won all three rubbers as Pakistan qualified for the Asia/Oceania Group II final. Aisam won a doubles futures title in Kuwait with Tuomas Ketola. At the Fergana Challenger, in Fergana, Uzbekistan, he and Ketola were unable win in the doubles final. Asiam qualified for his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon with doubles partner Amir Hadad. This pairing cause much controversy. In the first round they beat Martín Rodríguez and Tom Vanhoudt 7–5 7–6(5) 7–6(2). In the second round, the Pakistani-Israeli pairing caused an upset when they knocked out 11th seeds Ellis Ferreira and Rick Leach 6–4 6–4 6–4 to make it to the third round. They were finally beaten by 7th seed Czechs Martin Damm and Cyril Suk. Aisam was threatened with expulsion from the Davis Cup by the Pakistan Tennis Federation. Although Aisam did have support from Pakistan's Davis Cup captain. Aisam said, "I don't like religion or politics to interfere with sport. We're not here to change anything - politics and governments do that. We're just here to play the game and enjoy it." The ITF eventually intervened, forcing the PTF to rescind their threat.
At the West of England Tennis tournament in Bristol, UK, he won his first Challenger doubles title of the season with Serbian Dejan Petrovic. Next, at The Manchester Trophy in Manchester, UK, he won the doubles title with Karol Beck, although he was beaten by Beck in the singles semi-final. Asiam took his third doubles challenger title in a row when with Stefano Pescosolido, they took the Hilversum Open title in Hilversum, Netherlands. In July at Wrexham, UK in the Wrexham Challenger, his doubles winning streak was broken when he lost the final with Daniele Bracciali. He also reached the single quarter-finals.
He partnered Hadad again at the US Open, where they defeated Mariano Hood and Sebastián Prieto 6–4 6–2 in the first round. In the second round they faced fifth seeds Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett losing 4–6 6–4 2–6. In September, Aisam returned to Davis Cup action when Pakistan overcame China 3–2 to be promoted to Asia/Oceania Group I. However, he picked up an injury and missed the rest of the season. Despite this, Aisam ended the season ranked 265th in singles and 102nd in doubles.
Aisam and Amir Hadad picked up the ATP's Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award. ATP Chief Executive Mark Miles said, "During a summer when fear and hatred garnered much of the headlines, Amir and Aisam-ul-Haq provided much needed relief with their simple message about tolerance through tennis." Aisam, partnering Hadad, participated at the Milan Open in Milan, Italy, where they were knocked out of the first round by third seeds Tomáš Cibulec and Pavel Vízner, 6–7( 1–6. At the Asia/Oceania Group I quarter-final, Pakistan were beaten 5–0 by New Zealand. Aisam went to Germany to play at the Warsteiner Challenger in Wolfsburg, where he reached the final with Austrian Alexander Peya.
He went to play at his second ATP tournament of the year, partnered with Hadad, at the Copenhagen Open in Copenhagen, Denmark.They lost to George Bastl and David Prinosil 5–7 3–6. In May, Aisam won a doubles futures title in Uzbekistan with partner Justin Bower. They stayed together in the country to play at the Fergana Challenger in Fergana where they won the doubles title. This victory saw Aisam reach 89th in the world for doubles rankings.
At the French Open, he played with Daniel Vacek, but they exited at the first round at the hands of Rick Leach and Brian MacPhie 3–6 3–6. At Wimbledon he and Hadad were beaten in the first round to Jiří Novák and Radek Štěpánek 6–7(5) 5–7 5–7.
Asiam Partnered Rohan Bopanna at the Manchester Trophy in Manchester, UK, where they reached the semi-finals. They went all the way to the final and won the Colorado Classic in Denver, USA.Returning to Davis Cup action in September, he helped save Pakistan from relegation as they beat South Korea 3–2. With his singles ranking sliding, Aisam concentrated on playing singles matches, winning three futures titles, one in Thailand and two in India. He also won two doubles futures titles in India to round of the year, the first with Harsh Mankad and the second with Mustafa Ghouse.
Aisam ended the year ranked 493rd in singles and 187th in doubles.
Aisam won a single futures title in India on February. He then reached The Wrexham Challenger doubles semi-finals with Vladimir Voltchkov. Aisam went on to win the IX Challenger Internacional de Salinas in Salinas, Ecuador with doubles partner Federico Browne. Next, at the USTA Challenger of Calabasas in Calabasas, USA with partner Cecil Mamiit, he reached the semis. At the Fergana Challenger in Fergana, Uzbekistan, he paired up with Harsh Mankad to reach the final. In Saudi Arabia, he won another singles futures title.
In June, Aisam played his first singles ATP tournament at The Nottingham Open in Nottingham and was beaten in the first round by Jonas Björkman in straight sets. He then paired up with Luxembourg's Gilles Müller and won at the XI Open International D'Andorra in Andorra. Aisam then took part in the Open de Montauban in Montauban, France, where he and Mankad reached the semi-finals. At The LTA Nottingham Challenger in Nottingham, UK, they both again reached the semis. Next, at The Manchester Trophy in Manchester, UK he partnered Lovro Zovko to the final.
Aisam reached the singles challenger semi-finals at the Arroyo de la Encomienda in Valladolid, Spain. In the same tournament he reached the doubles final with Michael Ryderstedt. After missing the previous tie, Aisam took part in the Davis cup relegation play-off final against favourites New Zealand. He assisted Pakistan in causing a huge upset when they won 3–2 to stay in Asia/Oceania Group I. He travelled to Nigeria and won another singles futures title. In his final event of the season, Aisam partnered Jason Marshall to the Audi Challenger semi-final held in Groningen, Netherlands. Aisam finished the season ranked 199th in singles and 136th in doubles.
In Wolfsburg, Germany, Aisam played at the Volkswagen Challenger, where partnered by Lovro Zovko, he reached the final. At the Davis Cup Pakistan defeated Thailand, with Aisam beating Paradorn Srichaphan 7–5 2–6 6–4 6–4. Going to the Heineken Challenger at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, he reached his second final, this time with Orest Tereshchuk, but they failed to win the final. Aisam went to Mecca, Saudi Arabia to represent Pakistan at the Islamic Solidarity Games where he won 3 Golds in the singles, doubles and team events. At the Davis Cup he won all his rubbers as Pakistan beat Chinese Taipei to reach the World Group play-offs for the first time.
He returned to action in the Fergana Challenger, in Fergana, Uzbekistan, with Tereshchuk where they reached the semis. He travelled to Surbiton, UK to play at the first grass court event of the season at The Surbiton Trophy, where with Stephen Huss he made it to the semi-final. Aisam stayed in Europe to play at the Arpa Ceramic Cup in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and reached another doubles semi-final, with Mustafa Ghouse. Returning to the UK, he played at The LTA Summer Challenger, in Nottingham, UK for his third doubles final, paired with Jean-Michel Pequery, but Aisam still failed to win a final.
There was more struggling for Aisam at the III Challenger Diursa in Valladolid, Spain, where with Igor Zelenay, he could only get to the doubles semi-final. However, Aisam stayed in Spain to take part at the Open de Tenis Amaya in Pamplona, where with Zovko, they won the final and gave Aisam his first doubles Challenger title of the year. He continued his partnership with Zovko as they went to Uzbekistan to play at the Samarkand Challenger in Samarkand, but fell at the semi-final.
Pakistan faced Chile at the World Group play-offs. Aisam lost to Nicolás Massú 2–6 6–7(4) 1–6, and then with Aqeel Khan in the doubles, they were beaten by Massu and Fernando González 1–6 3–6 0–6 as Pakistan fell to a 5–0 loss. In December, Asiam won a singles futures title in India. He ended the year ranked 450th in singles and 168th in doubles.
Aisam played at the Davis Cup where he wasn’t able to help Pakistan, as they lost to Chinese Taipei 3–2. He travelled to the UK where he won a doubles futures title with Jean-François Bachelot.
At the Davis Cup, Pakistan were beaten by India, despite Aisam winning both his matches. The season continued to be a struggle, however, in June he made it to only his second ever ATP tournament at the Ordina Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, losing out to third seed Mario Ančić, 6–7(3) 7–6 5–7, in a closely fought match.
He finally reached his first Challenger final of the year at the Bukhara Challenger, in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, reaching the doubles final with Indian Rohan Bopanna, but lost in straight sets. Aisam returned to Davis Cup action, but Pakistan fell to their third loss of the year, losing to China. This saw them relegated back to Asia/Oceania Group II.
Going to India, he took part at the ATP tournament there, at the Kingfisher Airlines Tennis Open in Mumbai, and paired up with Leander Paes. They beat Paraguay's Ramón Delgado and Greek Konstantinos Economidis 6–4 6–4. But they lost the quarter-final to third seeds and eventual champions Mario Ančić and Indian Mahesh Bhupathi 6–1 7–5. In the first Indo-Pak tennis series, he and Aqeel Khan were beaten in the 5 rubber tournament 3–2. He stayed in India to play on the futures circuit, where he won a single futures title. At the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, Aisam reached the singles third round. In the doubles, he and Aqeel Khan progressed to the quarter-finals where they were beaten by first seeds and eventual champions Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes 2–6 4–6. In the team event they were knocked out in the first round. In December, Aisam was declared ITF player of the month. Aisam ended the year ranked 417th in singles and 365th in doubles.
Aisam started out in 2007 playing a number of Futures tournaments, he won two doubles titles in the UK, one with Stéphane Robert and the second with Purav Raja. Aisam won two more doubles titles with Jamie Baker. He went to the UAE where he won a single futures title and two doubles titles with partner Rameez Junaid. In Kuwait, Aisam won another single and doubles title this time with Purav Raja. He qualified at the ATP tournament in Halle, Germany, for the Gerry Weber Open where he beat World number 11, and Wimbledon Semi-finalist Richard Gasquet, 7–6(10) 6–4, which had been the biggest victory of his career to date. Aisam was knocked out in the second round by Philipp Kohlschreiber 4–6 3–6.
He went on to achieve a landmark in his professional career by qualifying for the first time for the main rounds of Wimbledon 2007 Men's Singles competition. Aisam became the first Pakistani in over 31 years to play at a Grand Slam tournament. Aisam is also the second Pakistani person ever to reach the second round of Wimbledon. He won his first Grand Slam match at Wimbledon against Lee Childs, 6–3 6–4 7–6, making him the second Pakistani player (the first being Haroon Rahim in 1976) to reach the second round of Wimbledon, before losing to former Australian Open and US Open champion Marat Safin of Russia 2–6, 4–6 and 6–7(4–7).
At the Campbell's Hall of Fame Championships at Newport, he continued his good form as he defeated first seed Mardy Fish 6–3 6–4. In the second round he beat Nathan Healey 7–6(2) 5–7 6–4, to reach the last 8 of an ATP tournament for the first time. However, at the quarter-final Asiam was beaten by Dick Norman, 4–6 6–3 4–6. In the doubles, Asiam and Prakash Amritraj were knocked out of the first round by Wesley Moodie and Fabrice Santoro 0–6 4–6.
Aisam followed up Newport with Challenger Series tournament in the UK at the LTA Manchester Trophy in Manchester and then The LTA Nottingham Challenger in Nottingham. Aisam secured the doubles title with Rohan Bopanna at Manchester. His red hot streak continued as he powered into the singles final at Nottingham, only to be bested by Australian Alun Jones 3–6 6–4 4–6. Aisam did however win back-to-back doubles titles by succeeding in the doubles final at Nottingham with Bopanna. At the Castilla and León Open Challenger Series tournament in Segovia, Spain, his failure at singles did not seem to trouble Aisam, as he went on to lift his third consecutive doubles Challenger victory with partner Rohan Bopanna. The duo became known as the "Indo-Pak Express" Aisam returned home and picked up the "Salaam Pakistan Awards" alongside footballer Muhammad Essa and squash player Maria Toor Pakay.
Aisam then travelled to the US to take part in the GHI Bronx Tennis Classic Challenger Series in Bronx to play in the doubles competition. Aisam and Bopanna continued their dominance in the doubles game, as they prepared for the US Open, by winning the hard court challenger, and in the process, forming a 16-match winning streak that spanned four tournaments. In doing so, Aisam won his 50th title including both singles and doubles at all levels.
In order to fulfill his dream of playing at the US Open, Aisam had to deal with three qualifying matches. He started out strongly, advancing through to the third qualifying round where he met Scoville Jenkins of the USA. Aisam pulled out before the third set due to a bout of tendinitis. The injury, which was aggravated by playing at the Bronx challenger resulted in Aisam's departure from the US Open.
Although not fully fit, Aisam returned in time to play at the Kingfisher Airlines Open in Mumbai, his forth ATP tournament of the year. It was also the first time Aisam was in the first round draw without needing to qualify or receiving a wildcard. Despite being the highest ranking Asian in the tournament, he was defeated in the first round by Serbian Viktor Troicki 6–2 6–4. Aisam also resumed his partnership with Bopanna and easily won their first round encounter, beating Indian duo Stephen Amritraj and Somdev Devvarman 6–3 6–2. In the quarters, they faced Iván Navarro Pastor of Spain and Argentine Sergio Roitman who however pulled out, allowing Aisam to reach his first ATP semi-final. The Qureshi-Bopanna partnership marched on to the final, brushing aside German Lars Burgsmüller and Belgian Olivier Rochus 6–2 6–3. In Aisam's first career ATP tournament final, the duo faced third seeds Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, but went down fighting 6–7 (3) 6–7 (5), thus bringing down the curtain upon their 19-match win streak.
At the Tarka Challenger in Barnstaple, UK, Aisam teamed up with Frederik Nielsen of Denmark, the pair went on to win the tournament. As his singles ranks rose into the top 150 making him the third best Asian player, he took part in the second Indo-Pak tennis series, he and Aqeel Khan were beaten in the 3 rubber first leg 2–1 but won the second leg 2–1 to tie the series. Returning to the Challenger circuit at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he was runner up with Bopanna in the doubles. Aisam went to New Delhi, India to play in the second to last Challenger event of the year, though he lost the doubles final with Boanna, he won his first Challenger singles title with a victory against surprise finalist Jae Sung An 7–5 6–4 and with that reaching the top 130. Asiam spent the rest of December in Indian to prepare for the following season, with Sania Mirza, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna; as they were coached by South African physical trainer Shayamal Vallabhjee, a coach at the Dolphins cricket team in Durban. Aisam ended the year ranked 125th in singles and 90th in doubles.
Aisam began the season at the Chennai Open in Chennai, India. He missed the singles qualifiers due to unrest in Pakistan, but made in in time to play doubles alongside Croat Marin Čilić. They defeated first round opponents Mustafa Ghouse and Karan Rastogi both from India, 6–4 7–6(1). In the quarter-finals they faced second seeds Jaroslav Levinský and Michal Mertiňák, who they over came 6–1 7–5. In the semis they were beaten by eventual title winners Sanchai Ratiwatana, and Sonchat Ratiwatana from Thailand 6–2 2–6 4-10. His doubles ranking rose to a new high of 82nd. Coincidentally, the Qureshi-Cilic partnership entered the 2008 doubles race ranked at 9th. Qureshi entered the qualification draw for men's singles at the 2008 Australian Open. He was seeded 16 but lost in the first round in a tight three set match. Back on the Challenger circuit, Aisam teamed up with Igor Kunitsyn and reached the Heilbronn Open final in Heilbronn, Germany.
Aisam went to the USA to play at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. With Bobby Reynolds they beat Amer Delic and Rajeev Ram 6–1 6–7(3) 10-5. In the quarter-finals they lost to first seeds and world number ones Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 4–6 4–6. He then paired up with long time doubles partner Bopanna at the SAP Open in San Jose, and were knocked out of the first round by third seeds Max Mirnyi and Jamie Murray 4–6 4–6.
Aisam and Bopanna were given wildcards for the Dubai Tennis Championships and defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu and Igor Andreev 7–5 6–4 in the first Round. In the quarter-finals, they squandered a one set advantage against first seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjić, losing 2–6, 7–6(5), 10-6. Aisam was called up the Pakistan Davis Cup squad and prepared for the hectic Asia/Oceania Group III schedule. During the Davis Cup, he was inspired form, as Pakistan won each tie 3-0 to gain promotion back to Asia/Oceania Group II. He went to Lanzarote, Spain and reached the doubles final of the VII Open Isla de Lanzarote with Gilles Müller, but were beaten 2–6 6–7, however this saw his doubles ranking rise to 67th.
Then in New Delhi, India, Aisam took part in the New Delhi Challenger, and was knocked out in the quarter-finals to World No. 78 Yen-Hsun Lu 7-6 3-6 5-7. He teamed up with Bopanna for the French Open where in a tough first round draw they took on first seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan for the second time in a year, but lost 1-6 4-6. They both moved on to Wimbledon and knocked out Polish 10th seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-3 7-5 6-4. In the second round they lost to Marcel Granollers-Pujol and Santiago Ventura Bertomeu 2-6 4-6 2-6.
He went to play a Challenger in Dublin, Ireland and with Prakash Amritraj they beat Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen it the doubles final 6-3 7-6. Aisam retuned to the USA to play at the Campbell's Hall of Fame Championships where took on Benjamin Becker in the singles first round and won 7-5 7-6. In the second round he was defeated by second seed and defending champion Fabrice Santoro 6-7 2-6. In the doubles, he and Bopanna were seeded 4th, the first time both have been seeded in an ATP event. In the first round they beat Tripp Phillips and Jim Thomas 4-6 6-3 10-2. They won their quarter-final 7-6 3-6 10-7 Kevin Anderson and James Cerretani and followed that up by defeating Rik de Voest and Ashley Fisher in the semis 5-7 6-4 11-9. In the second ATP doubles final of his career, they faced Mardy Fish and John Isner, but despite being favourates, they lost 4-6 6-7.
They then went to Indianapolis where Aisam lost his first round Singles match to Wayne Odesnik 4-6 5-7. In the doubles, he and Bopanna defeated 4th seeds Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov 2-6 7-5 10-6. In the second round Bopanna picked up an injury and retired at 2-6 0-1 against eventual champions Ashley Fisher and Tripp Phillips. Aisam went back to playing challengers to Belo Horizonte, Brazil to play at the lBH Tenis Open International Cup 2008 where he reached the singles quarter-finals and in the doubles, he and Mexican Santiago González won the title. In Campos do Jordao, at the Credicard Citi Mastercard Tennis Cup, Aisam was defeated at the semi-finals in both singles and doubles. He and Bopanna played at the 2008 Legg Mason Tennis Classic they were defeated in the first round by third seeds Rik de Voest and Ashley Fisher 4-6 4-6.
Aisam took part in the US Open. In the Singles he faced former World No 1 and French Open champion Carlos Moyŕ in the first round but lost 4-6 7-6 6-7 2-6. In the Doubles he and Bopanna openeed against Marc Gicquel and Sébastien Grosjean, losing 5-7 3-6. He then appeared in the Thailand Open, losing in the first round to Swedish 6th seed Robin Söderling 2-6 4-6. In the doubles, he and Bopanna lost 6-7 6-4 7-10 to first seeds Lukáš Dlouhý and Leander Paes. Then in the Stockholm Open, Aisam teamed up with Mario Ančić, however they were unable to get past the first round, losing to first seeds Jonas Björkman and Kevin Ullyett 5-7 4-6.
He travelled to Kolding, Denmark to play in the Kobstaedernes ATP Challenger, reaching the doubles semi-finals before going on to Russia to take part in St. Petersburg Open where he partnered Rogier Wassen and in the first round they exited against Igor Kunitsyn and Marat Safin 3-6 6-2 9-11.
Aisam then went to play in Challenger in Yokohama, Japan at the Keio Challenger International Tennis Tournament where he reach the singles quarterfinals, losing to former Asian number 1 and World No. 36 Hyung-Taik Lee 6-4 4-6 4-6. The Pakistani rounded off the year with a win in the Dunlop Challenger in Toyota, Japan alongside Frederik Nielsen.
Aisam played in a future event in Sheffield, England, as the 2 seed. Aisam beat British Timothy Bradshaw in the 1st round 6-4 6-0 but lost 6-4 6-2 to Matthew Illingworth in the second.
Aisam lost to Matthias Bachinger in the 1st round of qualifying in the Heilbronn Challenger in Germany 7-6(4) 2-6 3-6, and also lost in the first round of doubles with James Auckland. Next week, Aisam went to the Wrocław Challenger but lost in the 2nd round of qualifying. Teaming up with Auckland again, he lost in the second round in the doubles.
Aisam went to the qualifying rounds in the Belgrade Challenger but lost in the 1st round to Julian Reister 7-5 5-7 4-6, Aisam was a break up in the 2nd set and he also missed a match point in the 10th game of the 2nd set as Reister was serving to stay in the match. Aisam teamed up with Lovro Zovko in the Doubles they lost in the final 6-3 2-6 8-10. Aisam teamed up with Prakash Amritraj in the Dubai Championship but lost in the 1st round.
Aisam played in Pakistan's win over Oman in the Davis Cup which they won 4-1. Aisam won his 1st rubber and he won the Doubles match with Aqeel Khan, but did not play in the dead rubbers.
Back on the Challenger Circuit, Aisam traveled to Kyoto, Japan where he beat Chris Guccione in the 1st round 7-6(3) 6-4. He played I.Dodig in the 2nd round, Aisam lost 5-7 1-6, hurting his ankle during the match, but recovered to play in his Doubles Match. Aisam claimed the Doubles Title in Kyoto with partner M. Slanar. Aisam partnered R. Bopanna in the Bangkok Challenger they reached the semi finals but lost in two close Tie-Breakers 6-7(4) 6-7(5) to Elgin & Kudryavtsev.
Qureshi went to the Korat Challenger he teamed up with Rohan Bopanna, where they reached the Semi-Finals.They defeated Levy & Okun 7-6(5) 3-6 10-6 to reach the final, in which they beat Thai twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana 6-3 6-7(5) 10-5. Qureshi & Bopanna had to play their semi-final and final matches on the same day. This meant Qureshi claimed his 2nd title in 3 weeks, Aisam also was a semi-finalist in Bangkok. Aisam went to the Johannesburg Challenger where he lost in the 1st round.
Aisam travelled to Busan, Korea to take part in the Challenger event. Aisam won his 1st round match against M.Semjan 6-3 6-4, in the 2nd round Aisam won 7-6 6-4 against T.Iwami to reach the Quarter Finals. Qureshi travelled to Fergana where he lost in the 2nd round in the Singles and lost in the Final in the Doubles. Qureshi has travelled to Karlsruhe, Germany to take part in the Doubles which is on Clay where he is partned by Bednarek in the 1st Round they defeated Bachinger & Kindlmann 6-3 6-4. Qureshi & Bednarek lost in the Fianl 7-5 6-4 to R.Junaid & P.Marx
He qualified into the main round of 2009 Wimbledon doubles, paired with India's Prakash Amritraj. After upsetting the 16th seeds Huss and Hutchins, they next defeated Junaid and Marx in the second round. They faced 4th seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles in the 3rd Round and lost 4-6 7-5 6-7 0-6. Qureshi lost in the 2nd Round in the Qualifying Rounds in Newport and lost in the 1st Round in the Main Draw in the Doubles. Qureshi then went to Bĺstad for the Doubles event but lost in the 1st Round. Qureshi has gone to Indianapolis to take part in the Singles Qualifiers and the Main Draw in the Doubles where he will be partenerd by Sam Querrey. Qureshi won his 1st Round Qualifier against Joe Bates 6-3 1-6 6-3. Qureshi then faced L.Gregorc in the 2nd Round and won 6-3 7-6 (7-4). Qureshi lost to Alex Bogomolov Jr in the Final Round 5-7 4-6. In the Doubles Qureshi and Querrey made it to the Semi-Finals before losing to E.Gulbis & D.Tursunov 6-1 2-6 8-10.
Qureshi played in the US Open 2009 main draw partnering Jarkko Nieminen of Finland. They won the 1st round match defeating A Golubev & D Istomin 4-6 7-6(11) 6-4. They lost in the 2nd round to second seeds Nestor & Zimonjic 7-6(5), 6-3.
On 3 November 2009, Qureshi with his partner James Cerretani of United States defeared world no.1 Roger Federer and his partner Marco Chiudinelli in straight sets at the Basel Open Doubles. The final score was 6-4, 6-3. Talking to media Qureshi said that his long struggle has paid off as defeating Federer is the greatest achievement of his career. Qureshi and Bopanna teamed up for both Challengers in Aachen & Helsinki and they won both Titles which marked a good end to the year for Qureshi. Qureeshi ended the year Number 59 in the Doubles Ranking.
Qureshi has said he will start the year in Chennai followed by the 1st Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open.
Qureshi won his first ATP Title ever at the 2010 SA Tennis Open with his partner Rohan Bopanna. They defeated Karol Beck and Harel Levy 2-6, 6-3, [10-5] in the final.
Qureshi and Bopanna then made their 2nd ATP Final of the year at the 2010 Grand Prix Hassan II, but were defeated by Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecău 2-6, 6-3, [7-10]. Qureshi and Bopanna were Runners Up in the ATP 250 in Nice after they lost 6-1 3-6 5-10 to M.Melo and B.Soares. Qureshi and Bopanna made the 2nd Round in the French Open losing to M.Llodra and J.Benneteau.
Qureshi and Bopanna lost in the 1st Round in Halle and the 2nd Round in s-Hertogenbosch. The pair also reached their 1st ever Grand Slam Quarter-Finals in the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.
Qureshi will start his American Hard Court season in Los Angeles with his partner R.Bopanna. He will also play the ATP 500 in Washington, The Masters 1000 in Toronto & Cincinnati, The ATP 250 in New Haven and to finish stuff off in New York, The US Open. Qureshi's Doubles Ranking is at 36 at the moment and his Doubles Team Ranking with R.Bopanna is at 15.
Q: How important a part does tennis play in your life?
A: Tennis is a very important part of my life. It has given me a way to make my parents proud, and that's a really big thing for me. It feels really good when your parents are proud of you. That's why it feels good.
Q: Do you think your recent exploits at Halle and, more importantly, at Wimbledon would be good for Pakistan tennis?
A: It's my job to give my best on the tennis court. But now that I've achieved something on it, maybe the government will think there's another sport besides cricket that can earn laurels for the country. Hopefully, I've achieved something good for other players.
Q: The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) is currently working on setting up a comprehensive tennis complex in Islamabad. Do you think it would provide a boost to the sport in Pakistan?
A: By the time it's going to be complete, I'm probably going to retire. But seriously, we need such facilities in all major cities of Pakistan, so that talented boys and girls can get the opportunity to play and train there.
Q: Were you happy with the media frenzy and public interest your performance at Wimbledon generated in Pakistan?
A: Of course, it's a great feeling. I mean, in Pakistan most people don't know much about tennis, but everybody knows about Wimbledon. I've heard that in the past few days nobody was talking about cricket, and tennis had suddenly got the spotlight. It is really satisfying for me.
Q: You have been trying for several years to qualify for the Wimbledon singles without much luck in the past. But this year you didn't just qualify for it but also became the second Pakistani in 31 years to reach the event's second round. What was different this time?
A:I personally believe that all the hard work of the last 12 years or so has started to pay off. I'm probably playing the best tennis of my career and that certainly helped. Also I went into the Wimbledon qualifying rounds after beating Richard Gasquet, who is one of the best players in the world, at Halle. It certainly gave a major boost to my confidence ahead of Wimbledon.
Q: Qualifying for Wimbledon was also your New Year's resolution, wasn't it?
A: Yes, this year I had told myself that I have to qualify for Wimbledon, and I forced myself to write the line, 'I want to qualify for Wimbledon' everyday, no matter what.
Q: How difficult was it to reach the main rounds at Wimbledon?
A: It was quite tough. I was up against some very good players but, thankfully, I managed to get past them in the qualifiers.
Q: Weren't you sort of lucky when the draw placed you against a player (Lee Childs of Great Britain) ranked lower than you in the opening round?
A:In a way I was, because it could have been anybody. It could have been Roger Federer. But Lee Childs was not an easy opponent and I had to work hard against him.
Q: Did you think you had any chance of beating Marat Safin in the second round?
A: I always go into the court with complete belief in myself, and the match against Safin was no exception. I told myself that if I give my best, anything can happen.
Q:Had Safin gone into a self-destructive mode, would it have helped your cause?
A: Actually, I was hoping that Safin would break a racket here or there, but he didn't. He played coolly and won the match.
Q: Some years back, you created quite a storm by pairing up with an Israeli player, Amir Haddad, for the Wimbledon doubles event. Do you regret making that decision?
A: I don't think they should have made such a big deal about it. We were just two tennis players taking part in a competition. But there were some extremists and sports officials back home who started talking negatively about it all. I really believe that you shouldn't bring politics, religion or colour into sports.
Q: Do you think you can go further next year at Wimbledon?
A: My results in June this year have added to my confidence, and it is my firm belief that hard work always pays. I will continue with all the hard work, and let's see what happens.
|Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:37 am
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