Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi is a renowned Pakistan’s most successful and high-profile tennis player, for more than two decades. An athlete from Lahore, who has been Pakistan’s lone flag-bearer in tennis highest professional stage, winning numerous trophies and awards. Pakistan is not known to be a tennis playing nation worldwide but Aisam-ul-Haq has made his country proud in tennis courts on so many occasions.
Born on March 18, 1980 in the city of Lahore, Aisam-ul-Haq started playing tennis at a young age under the supervision of his maternal grandfather, Khawaja Iftikhar Ahmad. By the age of eighteen, he had beaten Andy Roddick and Olivier Rochus. He finished 7th which is still a record for any Pakistani tennis player to date. With such achievements, the start to his tennis career looked promising.
- Aisam-ul –Haq Qureshi made his professional debut in 1998 and helped Pakistan beat Thailand 3-2 in Asia Oceania Zone Group-II Final. This was a huge boost for his tennis career and made recognition for himself.
- He made Pakistan proud by a stunning 3-2 win against the mighty New Zealand in 2004. His achievements made him the super-head for Pakistan’s Davis Cup for over a decade.
- His doubles record is much better where he has thrashed his opponents twenty six times against only seven defeats making it sixty four wins against twenty seven losses. His experience brought an important win over formidable Korea in Davis Cup tie of Asia Oceania Zone Group-I.
- In 2007, Aisam-Ul-Haq became the country’s first tennis player to qualify for the Wimbledon Men’s Singles in 31 years. His win against Lee Childs, 6–3 6–4 7–6 took him to second round. His qualification to the grand slam is still regarded his best in grand slam singles events.
- In 2011, Aisam achieved 8th ranking in the world after he claimed five ATP titles.
- 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.
Aisam-Ul-Haq’s Humanitarian efforts
While our sportsmen continue to do justice with Pakistan’s name, it is also their responsibility to contribute with their humanitarian efforts. Aisam-Ul-Haq is not only the flag bearer for tennis in international sports but is also known for his humanitarian efforts. He is known to have a heart of gold when it comes to doing social work for the people of the country.
He runs ‘Haq Foundation’ and ‘Stop War Start Tennis,’ which promotes peace through tennis and helps victims of war resume an active lifestyle. Aisam kicked off his “Stop War Start Tennis” tour in Rwanda with the agenda of spotlight existing projects, assess the needs of the local partners and verify that donations are being used efficiently. He also gave away five wheelchairs for the disabled tennis players in Kigali.
International Honours and Awards
- He was appointed The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) goodwill ambassador in November 2010 and was also awarded the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year for the same year.
- Aisam received the 2010 “Peace and Sport Image of the Year” award, in recognition of his 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.
Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi plays tennis with a bigger purpose, beyond any prejudice and geographical boundaries. He not only continues to make Pakistan proud but also spreads the message of a peace-loving country. Aisam is an ambassador and role model for young people and for sporting competitors everywhere. Tournament organizing committee of Benazir Bhutto Shaheed National Tennis Championship and Islamabad Tennis Complex is joining the nation in paying tribute to this legend of tennis, who is the true ambassador of this country and the sports around the globe. We wish him more success in the future.