Stories about tennis

Federer forever

In the last few years, men’s tennis has undergone a revolution of sorts. Quality and competition are two aspects that have literally gone through the roof. One of the main catalysts has been the consistent arrival of outstanding young talent. In this regard, Roger Federer is perhaps a front runner of sorts. His skill, athleticism and freakish fitness levels mark the beginning of a new era in tennis. Last weekend, at London’s visually futuristic O2 arena, Federer delivered a timely reminder of his inimitable quality and composure. This latest win marks the Swiss maestro’s second ...

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Serena Williams isn’t going anywhere yet

Several times in her illustrious career, tennis powerhouse Serena Williams has been written off and declared to have lost her focus on the sport. Being the great champion  (with 13 grand slam singles titles) that she is, she has always managed to shut her detractors up by letting her game do the talking. But the question that now arises is, for how long? Being an avid follower of miss Williams, I hear several snide remarks. Some directed at her unorthodox appearance which, honestly speaking, do not even deserve a reply. While others, the relatively smarter ones, attempt to deride her fiery temper and occasionally ...

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Aisam’s love match!

It seems that golden boy Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi will be married to more than just tennis soon. The 31-year-old athlete, peacemaker and teen-girls’ pin-up of choice has reportedly cemented a rishta with long-time love, Faha Akmal Makhdum, a British-Pakistani native of Suffolk. Haq and Makhdum will be officially engaged next week and reports indicate that no fans are invited (no, that wasn’t a wind storm, it was a collection of sighs). The betrothal announcement caused a viral explosion hailing from the blogosphere and torpedoing its way to the twittersphere, to the simultaneous clickety-clicks of text messagers and facebookers across Pakistan and ...

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Wimbledon: Has the US dropped the ball?

American tennis is a shadow of its former greatness. At Roland Garros in Paris, no American woman was seeded anywhere. The top seeded American man was Mardy Fish. And nothing against Fish, but I doubt anyone is betting that he will win a Grand Slam anytime soon, or even in his entire career. The last man from the US to win a Grand Slam, Andy Roddick is fading, and has just exited Wimbledon. In fact, for a very brief period albeit, but earlier this year, for the first time in the 38-year history of the world tennis rankings, no US man or ...

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Aisamul-Haq: 2010’s shining star

To say that it was an eventful year for Pakistan sports would be an understatement. 2010 witnessed many ‘highs and lows’, ranging from the sensational spot-fixing scandal involving three of the country’s leading cricketers to a stunning title-winning triumph by our ladies in the cricket event of the Asian Games in Guangzhou. For me the defining moment of Pakistan sports came in September when tennis ace Aisamul-Haq Qureshi marched into the men’s doubles and mixed doubles finals of the US Open. His heroics at the Grand Slam tournament gave Pakistan’s sports fans something to cheer about after several dismal weeks in ...

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Federer vs Nadal: Old rivalry, new beginnings

This week, tennis fans across the world were treated to yet another edition of the closest thing tennis has to El Classico; Rodger Federer versus Rafa Nadal in the ATP World Tour Finals. Although this match wasn’t the most eventful the pair have had over their long rivalry (one that boasts its own Wikipedia page no less), it provided substantial fodder for Federer fans that have had little to celebrate of late. Fans had been wondering whether the Federer versus Nadal rivalry exists anymore, though that is partly owing to the fact that the final at the O2 arena this ...

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Back in the game: Give athletes a break!

Four names in the world of sport have captivated the headlines over the last decade, with respect to their decisions to return to their chosen fields: Micheal Jordan, Zinedine Zidane, Micheal Schumacher and Justine Henin. While each has got a mixed response and some comebacks have already ended in what might be considered tragic circumstances, I think most sports fans think too selfishly of themselves, instead of putting themselves in the shoes of the legends that choose to return. For many of these demi-gods of sport who return, there can be no doubt that they have one thing in common: they ...

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Aisam: Not just another tennis player

He did not just enter the hall-of-fame in the world’s sports history. He is not just a symbol of hope for a nation starved for a hero in a very long time. I also do not think that his biggest achievement is that he gave a country drenched in floods and smoldering in bomb blasts a reason to cheer and smile. For me, Aisam ul Haq Qureshi is bigger than Federer, Graf and all other celebrities that I have admired in the world of tennis, for a different reason. It’s his inspiring journey to success that a lot of ...

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Celebrating Eid with Aisam

Watching Pakistan’s Aisamul-Haq Qureshi almost win the Men’s Doubles Final at the US Open in New York was not a bad way to spend Eid. Throw in a velvety lump of gulab jaman gratis the Bengali uncle at Spice Corner, beaming from behind the counter in an embroidered black kurta; some papery pista-encrusted bakhlava from the toothless Palestinian landlady, her troop of grandchildren hurtling through the building in a jumble of satin and plastic wands; and a cup of spongy ras malai from Curry in a Hurry, served by a waiter in a Jinnah cap with a retro Shahrukh Khan-Madhuri Dixit video playing on the TV – I’d say Eid was downright unforgettable. We hadn’t planned on it. I was expecting ...

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Aisam-ul-Haq is my hero!

It did not go down as we all hoped against the Bryans at the US Open, but it doesn’t make a difference. Aisam-ul-Haq is my new national hero and his partnership with Rohan Bopanna has shown us just what India and Pakistan can jointly achieve if we look beyond our differences and recognize what binds us together – and what better place to learn that lesson than on a tennis court. Cricket has let us down, hockey has near-faded from memory and football has yet to emerge, but Aisam has shown us that with enough courage, integrity and hard work, ...

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