Aisam-ul-Haq: 1st Pakistani in Wimbledon since 1976

Posted on June 24, 2007
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, People, Sports
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Owais Mughal

UPDATE June 26: Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq won his first round Wimbledon match beating Briton Lee Childs 6-3 6-4 7-6. His second round match is a much tougher game where he will meet former Russian No. 1, Marat Safin . According to Guardian Unlimited, the 27-year-old from Lahore said after the game: “I am living my dream. Ever since I started playing, I wanted to play Wimbledon… I was very loose and relaxed on court today,” he said. “I don’t think Lee expected me to come out today so pumped up and fired up.”

ORIGINAL POST:
The news is 3 days old, but important enough that we are compelled to write about it here. Pakistan’s top tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi on Thursday created history by becoming the Third Pakistani ever to qualify for Wimbledon men’s singles.

This moment has arrived for Pakistanis after a gap of 31 years. The first man to represent Pakistan at Wimbledon singles was Khwaja Saeed Hai who qualified for the main round of Wimbledon for 3 consecutive years, viz. 1954, 1955 and 1956. The last man to represent Pakistan at Wimbledon singles was Haroon Rahim in 1976.

Aisam hit the limelight after winning third and final qualifying round against Canadian No 1 Frank Dancevic in a four-set thriller, lasting two hours and 50 minutes, 4-6, 7-6 (11-9), 6-2, 7-6 (7-4). In Wimbledon 2007, as of June 26, Aisam has already won his first match against Britain’s Lee Childs by 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 and will now face Marat Safin of Russia in Round two.

It runs in the Family:

Aisam‘s mother Mrs Nausheen Ehtesham is also a tennis player and won first of her several Pakistan ladies singles title in 1982. She has also represented Pakistan in the Fed Cup, the women’s version of the Davis Cup.

Her father Khawaja Iftikhar Ahmad was also an all-India tennis champion who represented both India and Pakistan in the Davis Cup. Aisam‘s mother will travel to London to see her son play in the first round of Wimbledon men’s singles on Monday.

Aisam‘s mother told him before thursday’s match:

“Go all out whoever you play, even if it’s Roger Federer, and don’t get overawed by big names.” She further said: “It’s not difficult — and since he is in the same draw as Federer, I pray he gets a chance to play the world number one. It is a cherished moment for us. Aisam has made the whole nation proud.”

The player’s father Mr. Ehtesham Qureshi said his son was progressing fast.

Aisam‘s performance at Halle international earlier this month was superb and beating Richar Gasquet of France was the highlight of his career. I see him going up and up….The first thing he did after qualifying was to send us our tickets.”

Aisam has had a successful career in Junior tennis, where he finished at No. 11 in the world in 1998. That made him Pakistan’s highest-ranked player ever on the international youth tennis arena. After turning pro in 1998, he mostly played Challenger tournaments, and played on the Pakistan Davis Cup team.

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 and the Second round at the US Open. Together, they also won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award for playing together despite pressure from their communities.

Aisam has retained level of successes and is the number one player of Pakistan who has won quite a few Davis Cup ties in recent years.

Following is some of the tennis related information and player profile of Aisam. Note that the statistics below are true as of June 23, 2007:

Birthdate: 17 March 1980
Birthplace and Residence: Lahore, Pakistan
Current 52 week rank for singles: 259
Current ATP Champions Race Position: 158
Current Doubles Rank: 254
High Rank for Singles: 181
High Rank date for Singles: 1 November 2004
High ATP Champions Race Position: 158
High ATP Champions Rac Position date: 18 June 2007
High Rank for doubles: 89
High Rank date for doubles: 19 May 2003

Career Matches Won: 17
Career Matches Lost: 12
Year to date matches won: 1
Year to date matches lost: 1
Career prize money: $246677 USD
Year to date prize money for singles: $21393 USD

Year to date prize money for doubles: $4044 USD
Height: 6-0
Weight: 172 lb
Turned Pro: 1998
Plays: Right
Back Hand: Right

Aisam on TV

The reason for Aisam‘s success may be his prowess as a tennis player; but it’s also his good looks that got him noticed. This fresh faced, pleasant looking young man was first spotted by Khawar Riaz for HUM TV. While tennis is Aisam‘s passion Khawar managed to rope in the guy for a shoot in his studios.Surprisingly it turned out quite well. The screen seemed to have instantly taken to this new find. Who knows while Aisam is busy making waves in sports, he may even be spotted modeling for various designers. With his kind of looks and attitude he’s sure to create a stir on that front too. One just has to wait and see.

 

References:

(1) Information for this post has been taken from the daily Dawn,
(2) Yahoo News
(3) Wikipedia
(4) An Ace Called Aisam, and
(5) The Official Website of Wimbledon 2007

62 Comments on “Aisam-ul-Haq: 1st Pakistani in Wimbledon since 1976”

  1. Shueyb Gandapur says:
    June 24th, 2007 2:54 am

    I hope our nation sheds off its obsession for cricket and start taking interest in more globally popular games, like tennis. Aisam has done it almost all on his own, representing a country where there is no signifant public interest in the international tennis scene.

  2. Ishaq Qadri says:
    June 24th, 2007 3:13 am

    Good work. Good luck to him.

  3. June 24th, 2007 3:20 am

    Excellent

    Best of luck to Aisam. And good work with the post nice and interesting information all gathered in one place

  4. tina says:
    June 24th, 2007 5:09 am

    Well, hope he doesn’t get distracted by all the modeling gigs. I find him less remarkable than his mother, who according to the timetable on this post became a champion player after starting her family, when her son was 2 years old. Way to go Mrs. Nausheen Estesham! But one is forced to wonder how far she would have gotten if she’d had her entire energy and time to give to tennis….guess we’ll never know.

  5. Fawad Alam says:
    June 24th, 2007 5:19 am

    I have been following his career for a few years now, and its refreshing to see him finally break into the most prestigious competition in Tennis. I wish him all the luck. Make Pakistan proud Aisam!!

  6. Aqil Sajjad says:
    June 24th, 2007 5:24 am

    Is his wimbledon match going to be shown live on TV in Pakistan especially by PTV? This is very important to promote the game in the country.

  7. June 24th, 2007 5:58 am

    A Qureshi vs R Federrer!!!!!

  8. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    June 24th, 2007 4:10 pm

    FYI, Aisam will be the 3rd pakistani. The first one was somone who particpiated in 1954. I heard it on TV though couldn’t confirm myself. Anyway thanks for informative article.

  9. someone says:
    June 24th, 2007 4:57 pm

    GOOOOOOOOOOO AISHAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM make us proud!!

  10. Owais Mughal says:
    June 24th, 2007 6:00 pm

    Adnan
    you are right. Aisam is indeed the 3rd Pakistani to reach Wimbledon; The first man to represent Pakistan at Wimbledon singles was Khwaja Saeed Hai who qualified for the main round of Wimbledon for 3 consecutive years, viz. 1954, 1955 and 1956. The last man to represent Pakistan at Wimbledon singles was Haroon Rahim in 1976

    I have made corrections in my post above. Thx for noting it.

  11. Owais Mughal says:
    June 24th, 2007 6:14 pm

    When Aisam’s mother won her first National tennis title Aisam was already two years old. She has continued to play tennis for a long time after that. I read news clips from 2003-04 when she was still Pakistan’s number 2 ranked lady player then. Amazing feat. She may still be playing. i couldn;t find any reference to that though.

  12. Obaid says:
    June 25th, 2007 3:01 am

    This is a great achievement by Aisam – good luck to him! I hope to watch the match on TV, but I am not sure it will be on. Being a avid tennis player (amateur) and lover of the game I wanted to add a couple of tidbits which make me proud to be Pakistani:

    1. By chance I ran into a guy called Jeff Borowiak in Seattle. He was team mates with Haroon Rahim (2nd Pakistani to make it to Wimbledon). Haroon and Jeff were NCAA champions (US college championships) in 1970-71 and their third team mate was no other than Jimmy Connors! Haroon was ranked as high as #44 in the world – I never knew this.

    2. Aisam is already well known in tennis circles for having overcome religio-political (not sure if thats a word :)) boundaries and having played with Amir Haddad from Israel as his doubles partner.

    Lets go Aisam!

  13. maha sethi says:
    June 25th, 2007 5:54 am

    hey aisam ul haq we are with u keep it up ma prayers are totally with u and i wish that u cm back pakistan as a great star and as even a child of age3 watches cricket they start watching u ur matches we are proud to have u atleast i am really very proud and luv to be pakistani caz we have such amazing players

    hey guys does any1 of u has aisam’s e-mail id or official website please tell i will be thankful too u thanks alot

    GOOD LUCK AISAM SIR

    maha

  14. June 25th, 2007 7:38 am

    match kitna baja start hay?? can I see live scores?

  15. June 25th, 2007 7:39 am

    maha sethi yeah his email id is asiam4u@hotmail.com and aisam24@yahoo.com

  16. June 25th, 2007 9:30 am

    we wish him luck n success.

  17. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    June 25th, 2007 10:56 am

    ATP: Association of Tennis Professionals.

    ATP: All Things Pakistan.

    Could not help to notice the coincidence!

  18. Owais Mughal says:
    June 25th, 2007 11:24 pm

    Looks like Aisam’s match has been moved to tuesday because of rain

  19. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    June 26th, 2007 2:13 am

    owias, can you pls tell the time in GMT or PKST?

  20. Owais Mughal says:
    June 26th, 2007 7:44 am

    GMT is noon on tuesday

  21. Adnan Ahmad says:
    June 26th, 2007 9:34 am

    He has made history!! 6-3 6-4 7-6. Third set was close and he came from 3-5 down to win the tie breaker.

  22. Ayesha says:
    June 26th, 2007 9:40 am

    Wohoooooo! Just saw the news on Geo. Next match is really tough, Marat Safin. Beating Safin will be a hell of a task. I think Roger Federer is in the line after that.

    All the best Aisam :)

  23. AUK says:
    June 26th, 2007 10:10 am

    Congrats to Aisam. Even if he loses in the 2nd round, he will take home over 16,000 pounds. That coupled with his qualifying rounds will bring his net to over 22,000 pounds. Marat Safin, though a former great, is a shadow of his former self now. Aisam does have a chance there. Anyways, he has made it to the round of 64, which shows that even Pakistanis can play tennis at the world level.

  24. Bilal says:
    June 26th, 2007 10:15 am

    Great Article on Aisam, what a determined and hard working fellow!. For those who dont know, live scores for all matches are available at the official Wimbledon site, at:
    http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/index.html.

    Marat was not overwhelming (7-6,6-4,7-5) in his first round win, against the 126 ranked Rik De Voest. I think, Aisam has decent chance against Marat and I wish aisam best of luck.

  25. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    June 26th, 2007 11:08 am

    I have not watched the match but I hope it would be a great match. Comeon Aisam! Shabash Jawan Shabash!!

  26. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    June 26th, 2007 11:23 am

    I am not sure but is rafael Nidhal Nadal is playing or not? watching nadal and roddick with Federrer is always wonderful to watch

  27. Akif Nizam says:
    June 26th, 2007 12:14 pm

    Awesome ! Aisam is on a roll here.

    Adnan, Nadal is playing Wimbledon.

  28. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    June 26th, 2007 2:15 pm
  29. zamanov says:
    June 26th, 2007 4:58 pm

    Great job Aisam. Keep up the great effort young man. You have made us proud of your achievements so far.

  30. Sufian Sagheer says:
    June 26th, 2007 6:10 pm

    Awesome performance by Aisam.. I hope he beats Safin too :)

  31. Obaid says:
    June 26th, 2007 6:22 pm

    Btw, if you are wondering how you can watch the match then go to http://www.wimbledon.org. TO see vidoes of completed matches to to videos and you can also sign up for live coverage for $29. Btw Aisam plays on Court 1, right after Federer, so I hope he doesnt get nervous

    Go Aisam!

  32. Faraz says:
    June 26th, 2007 7:27 pm

    Wonderful… i think Aisam has a pretty good chance against Marat Safin as well…

    agreed Safin has a very impressive profile (Former world No.1 (currently 24), US open champion in 2000, Australlian Open Champion in 2005, Australlian Open Runner up in 2002 and 2004), but what goes in Aisam’s favour is the fact that Safin has never performed well in Wimbledon. Its the only Grand Salam where Safin has never gone past the quarter finals. And since 2002, he has never gone beyond 3rd round in wimbledon…. so Aisam can do an upset here. its gonna be very tough, but its possible.

    And if he does… well… lets just hope he does.

    actually, lets hope that the best player wins !… cant be unfair to anyone :)

  33. MB says:
    June 27th, 2007 1:05 am

    Great work Aisam

    Guys, does anyone know about how many matches Aisam has to play & what would be his position if he winds most of em?

  34. MB says:
    June 27th, 2007 1:22 am

    This should also help AISAM

    But having won the last of his 15 titles more than two years ago at the Australian Open in 2005, the Russian seems to have almost given up hope of ending that barren spell soon.

    “I have no confidence at the moment,” said the 26th seed.

    Asked to elaborate, he added: “Because I’m not winning a lot of matches lately, because I’ve been struggling for the past couple of months, more than a couple of months.

    “So how can you build up the confidence? The confidence comes with winning matches and playing a lot of semi-finals, finals.”

  35. Usman WH says:
    June 27th, 2007 2:22 am

    Aisaaaaam, Wish You all the best in your upcoming Games, We pray for ur sucess, I have used the word Gmaes as I am confident that You will be wining the next match…..Inshallah…..
    Make your country proud, Make your parents Proud, Make our flag proud, It was awesome to watch the PAKI flag in Wimbeldon.

    Lift up the falg even Higher…..

  36. Hasan Mir says:
    June 27th, 2007 11:46 am

    My dream come true. I see the word PAK on tennis channel! unbelievable!

    Qureshi produced 16 Aces in 3 sets in his first Wimbledon match. That is way above the average of 8 to 9 aces big guys produced. His server and volley game is very dangerous. He has a potential. I have hope.

    Pakistan Zindabaad!!!!

  37. Daktar says:
    June 27th, 2007 4:07 pm

    I think his second round game today got cancelled because of weather.

    Also, I just realized (others had earlier) that if he wins his second round game against the Russian he is likely to meet Roger Federer, the world number 1 and favorite!

  38. cameo says:
    June 28th, 2007 2:47 am

    they have scheduled his match on court 18 now, its an outside court, wont have TV coverage either
    yesterday he was on court 1, its a huge areana, big crowds, lots of limelight

  39. RA says:
    June 28th, 2007 8:40 am

    Well he lost.But not for a lack of trying.He kind of fizzled out during the second set but the third one he came back with some great shots.Missed an awful lot of break points though.But a wonderful performance by him.Surely he has made us proud.On a side note Vijay Amritraj was full of praise for him throughout the match and the crowd…Woohoooo!!

  40. zagi says:
    June 28th, 2007 8:55 am

    Match was fixed

    Just kiddin…
    In fact winning and losing is part of game but he is really trying very hard and some really very great shots he gave very good performance against big name of Marat Safin. Good Luck next time.

  41. June 28th, 2007 9:08 am

    Offcourse its a disappointment but I hope we would see him in action ni other grand slam matches

  42. RA says:
    June 28th, 2007 9:32 am
  43. AUK says:
    June 28th, 2007 10:44 am

    http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/stats/day4/1066ms.html

    Match statistics, which shows the difference between the two. Aisam missed on 8 break chances, same number as Safin, but Safin on the other hand capitalized on 3 of them.

  44. urooj arshad says:
    June 28th, 2007 5:15 pm

    aisammmmmmmmm iiiissssssssssss aaawwwweeeessooomeeeeeeeeee
    he really made the whole nation proud he play very very very well may allah give success to him .good luck keep it up

  45. Akif Nizam says:
    June 28th, 2007 5:27 pm

    …the fact that he got 8 break points shows that it was not a one-sided match (unless they were all in the same game).

    Well-done Asiam ! It’s not easy to have your best showing at an age when most others are thinking of retirement. It’s a testament to his fitness; perhaps the cricket team can take a page from his book.

  46. Sourav says:
    June 28th, 2007 5:27 pm

    It is good to see sportsmen other than cricketers emerging from the subcontinent. I am wondering how the facilities for tennis in Pakistan are. In India they were quite bad till some time back.

  47. June 28th, 2007 5:38 pm

    Tennis is one sport where I would love to see a Pakistani excel, win some major title, that will be huge and do a lot to promote it in Pakistan, we need something better then cricket, i look at tennis players then our cricket players who bowl only 10 overs and yet are never fit. pathetic

  48. AUK says:
    June 29th, 2007 1:52 am

    While we are at comparing cricket with an individual sport like tennis, I have to say that there is absolutely no comparison. In an individual sport, if you are not at 100%, you can’t even walk onto the court. On the other hand, in a team sport like cricket, your team can win a match while you sit in the pavilion half the time. I think even a club level player of tennis or squash is more fit than majority of cricketers at the national level. Guys like Jahangir and Jaansher dominated their sport for 15 years between them, because of their supreme mastery of the sport, but also because of their extreme fitness at the international level. That is why we are not able to replicate their achievements despite plenty of talent in the country. It takes commitment, and our new players are not committed to the same level. While the score may not look like it, but Aisam made Safin work to beat him. Let’s hope he can now qualify for US open, though the hard courts of the US may not be his favorite service. I was watching Wimbledon highlights on ESPN yesterday, and the commentators were talking about Safin’s second match with “Qureshi from Pakistan”, at which point there was a moment of silence, as if they were saying to each other; “Did we say that right”? They were totally surprised to see a Pakistani in Wimbledon’s second round. It is quite a remarkable achiement, because not too many countries are represented at this level. For example, despite this being Britain’s premier international event, only 1 Britain (Tim Henmann), made it to the 2nd round and lost. Let’s hope Qureshi can keep it going for a few more years.

  49. Humayun says:
    July 8th, 2007 12:21 am

    Does anyone know how one can know where he wil be playing next. Want to follow his performances. Thx.

  50. Akif Nizam says:
    July 11th, 2007 4:10 pm

    Is anyone following Aisam’s latest exploits ? Yesterday, he beat American Mardy Fish, who was the top-seed and currently ranked world no. 38, in the Hall of Fame tennis championships in Newport. Then today, he beat an Australian to go through to the third round. There is no other big name in the tournament and Aisam is in good form. Could be his time to win a big one here ($416K prize which is twice his career earnings to date) !

  51. maha says:
    August 7th, 2007 12:34 pm

    hey adnan bhai yeh such much aisam ka hi hai na
    have u tried mailing him woh reply karte hain

  52. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    August 7th, 2007 1:07 pm

    nahi maha behan mey sirf mazaq karraha thaa- mere pas aisam ka koi contact nahi hay.

  53. basit says:
    August 27th, 2007 9:00 am

    Best of luck to Aisam. I have been following his career for a few years now, and its refreshing to see him finally break into the most prestigious competition in Tennis. I wish him all the luck.

  54. Akif Nizam says:
    August 29th, 2007 12:19 pm

    I went to the US Open on Monday and was hoping to see Aisam play against Federer, only to find out later that Aisam didn’t make it out of the qualifying rounds due to injury. He was one match away from playing against Federer on center court on opening day and actually beat Jenkins in the first set, but had to retire in the second set due to injury.

    Instead, I had to watch Federer beat the snot out of Jenkins. It could easily have been Aisam he clobbered……(wishful thinking!)

  55. maha says:
    September 23rd, 2007 5:09 am

    nw i hate tis cmon man forget the injury u r playing with federer.federer seh jeetta toh?(with due respect to them)kya musharraf bush bhi injury ka akar poochta
    phir pakistan tumhein apne arms per bhi nahi sir par betha leta cmon man thats is nt fair enough

  56. esha says:
    November 8th, 2007 7:32 am

    i actually dont know what to say ……….dont hav words ! we want to see u always playing . Always praying for your health, hapiness,and victory.

  57. August 12th, 2008 1:03 am

    Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi paired with Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez has won the “Belo Horizonte ATP Challenger Championship” held in Brazil. They beat the Brazilian pair Danial Silva and Caio Zampieri

    The ATP in this case, of course, is not “All Things Pakistan” but the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the key organizing body for international tennis today.

  58. mehdi shah says:
    January 24th, 2009 5:13 pm

    I am a childhood friend of your cousin Faizan khurram.I am ur fan since u won your first international title. I pray that u get Wimbledon and Australian open championship on Pakistani soil one day. Also sabz Pakistani flags should rise fro your victory.

  59. Saadi Klasson says:
    December 22nd, 2009 3:41 am

    Thanks for his contribution in providing good picture of our country before whole the world our prays are with that guy and he should keep this up We want to see him at the position where Rojer Fedrer or Rafel Nadal are today.

  60. Shaizee Sulehri says:
    February 12th, 2010 9:45 am

    i never took interest in tennis,but when i saw you a young player of Pakistan moving ahead with confidence, i dreamed too that one day Pakistan can too win Wembeldon.
    i am a huge fan of you, May Allah bless you with success, n our dreams of being Tennis Champion come true,Ameen

  61. Zeeshan Warraich says:
    August 5th, 2010 10:07 pm

    aisam I am your fan since 2005, after that i never missed any of your match. you are a real hero of Pakistan. This time you qualified for Quater Final of Wimbeldon. and more strong and good thing, you are playing on your own, without the support of any sports commetee of Pakistan.

  62. BILLO says:
    September 10th, 2010 7:25 am

    HI,AISAM.PROUD TO HAVE U IN OUR COUNTRY.U HAVE REACHED THE FINAL BUT LOST THAT DOESNOT MATTER.WE R STILL PROUD OF U.BECAUSE U REPRESENT PAKISTAN IN SUCH A BIG TOURNAMENT WITH SUCH A GRACE.I WILL PRAY SURELY FOR U’R MIXED DOUBLES.STILL PROUD OF U AND WILL BE PROUD OF U.

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