Pakistan’s role in world class Tennis

Pakistan's role in world class Tennis

Everyone familiar with world class tennis and its stars is familiar with the names Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi (representing Pakistan) and Amir Hadad (representing Israel). These two players excel not only at tennis but at being true humanitarians.

The tennis world is also familiar with the story of the life and monumental tennis successes of Arthur Ashe (representing the USA). Born on July 10, 1943, and raised in Richmond, Virginia during the Civil Rights era, Arthur Ashe is the first African- American male to win a Grand Slam event. In addition to achieving the highest honours in the world of tennis, he also advanced the cause of social justice in his own country as well as South Africa as it struggled toward racial integration.

Arthur Ashe’s body lay in state at the Governor’s Mansion upon his death on February 6, 1993. To anyone familiar with the history of the old South in the US, the enormity of this honour is apparent. His statue stands proudly on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. It stands alongside heroes of the Confederacy.

That’s why when Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Amir Hadad teamed up for doubles competition at Wimbledon and the US Open it led to them both being awarded the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year Award. They played TOGETHER even though their respective communities in both Pakistan and Israel pressured them NOT to do so.

By doing so they resisted social injustice on behalf of themselves, Pakistan, Israel, the world of tennis and the world at large. We should all commend their efforts and perhaps applaud others who do the same.

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