Indo-Pak Express Break Up

December 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and India’s Rohan Bopanna announced this week that they have dissolved their successful men’s tennis doubles partnership, which was hailed as a symbol of friendship between the rival nations. Bopanna told the Indian Express newspaper that he will team up with veteran compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in 2012, while Qureshi will next partner Dutchman Jean-Julien Roger at the Australian Open in January.

“As the season has ended now, I can confirm that I am playing with Mahesh in 2012,” Bopanna said, declining to elaborate on the reason for parting ways with Qureshi after four years. “Who I want to play with is my decision… I did have a successful year with Aisam but now I am starting a new year with Mahesh, and it’s as simple as that.”

Bopanna and Qureshi, who joined hands in an unlikely partnership in 2007, shot to fame when they reached the US Open doubles final last year and are currently ranked ninth in the world. The duo actively promoted better India-Pakistan ties and even offered to play tennis over the land border dividing the two countries, which have a history of warfare and political tension.
Bopanna’s announcement also confirmed media speculation that India’s best-known men’s doubles combination of Bhupathi and Leander Paes, who won three Grand Slam titles, would not play together on the circuit.

Bopanna was non-committal on whether the decision to change partners was due to the London 2012 Olympics. “As of now Mahesh and I have decided to start the year together,” he said. “The Olympics have a lot of other technicalities like form and rankings, and we will see how it goes.”

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Sania Mirza Loses in French Final

June 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

french-open-preview-L-BewaPyIndia’s Sania Mirza was within a whisker of winning her second Grand Slam title, but at the end of the day, it was “So close, yet so far away,” for Mirza and her Russian doubles partner Elena Vesnina at the French Open. Mirza and Vesnina, the seventh seeds in the ladies’ doubles division, lost in the finals to the unseeded Czech team of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka. The final score was 6-4, 6-3.

Sania previously won the mixed doubles at another Grand Slam event, the 2009 Australian Open, which she won with fellow Indian Mahesh Bhupathi. Mirza did become the first Indian female tennis player to reach a women’s doubles final. But it ended up being an off day for Mirza and Vesnina, as they were unable to overcome their unforced errors, especially in the face of inclement weather.
Mirza and Vesnina split the 165,000 euro second prize, while the victors took home a total of 330,000 euro. After the match Vesnina was thankful to her partner announcing, “Thanks Sania for the great experience we’ve had here. Hope we’ll have more of such games in the future.”

After the tournament, Mirza reached a career high doubles ranking of 14. And as a team, Mirza and Vesnina moved into the number three position in the WTA Championship rankings, putting them in contention for the year-end WTA championship event in Istanbul, Turkey. The event is only for the top four teams in the WTA rankings.

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Qureshi Moving Up the Tennis Rankings

April 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Pakistani ace men’s tennis player Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi has made significant strides in the world of tennis the past couple of years. He and his doubles partner, India’s Rohan Bopanna, have been steadily moving up the world men’s tennis rankings. Now, Qureshi has achieved the highest world ranking of his career thus far. He has moved up to a career high doubles ranking of number 12 in the world. In addition, he and Bopanna as a team have moved comfortably into the top 10 of the team rankings, having risen to number eight.

Most recently Qureshi and Bopanna were semifinalists at the ATP event at Indian Wells in California. There they beat the well-decorated Indian team of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, before being upset in the semifinal round.  They followed that up with a quarterfinal finish at the ATP Masters event in Miami, Florida. At this pace, a top five ranking should be right around the corner. And who knows, the number one spot just may be there for the taking.

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