Aisam Qureshi says he is grateful to tennis superstars, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, and other athletes for donating items to help raise funds in his native Pakistan for those who have been impacted by the current crisis.
The former US Open doubles finalist has launched a charity auction, Stars Against Hunger, in conjunction with his foundation, Stop War Start Tennis, to raise funds to provide ration bags for daily workers who have been unable to work during the current pandemic.
The campaign has already helped support more than 2,000 families in Pakistan and his goal is to support 10,000 families. Other tennis players who have contributed to Qureshi's efforts to raise funds include Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, Russia's Daniil Medvedev and Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza.
Qureshi has also reached out to athletes from sports outside of tennis and has received items from boxer Amir Khan, field hockey player Shahbaz Ahmed, squash player Jahangir Khan and cricketers Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram and Shoaib Malik.
Speaking to the ATP Tour website, Qureshi says, "As an athlete, as a sportsman, I feel like tennis has given me so much, and it’s a way of me giving back to the communities. I’ve been all over the world, there are so many people who have touched my heart, and that’s why I feel like helping everybody I can in any way possible”.
“Every single item is going to be very close to my heart. It’s going to go a long way for me to raise funds here in Pakistan. There’s a huge population that loves tennis. These guys are legends here. Everybody loves each and every one of them.
They’re unbelievable guys and human beings. None of them hesitated. The second I asked them if I can use any kind of memorabilia from them, they were more than happy to send it to me. I can’t thank them enough… Pakistan can’t thank you guys enough." The auction ends on May 24th.
To bid for the items, one can go to this link http://www.sharerizq.com/en/stars-against-hunger Fans can also donate directly to support Qureshi in his cause by going to this link http://www.sharerizq.com/en/campaigns/1 Qureshi is the only Pakistani tennis player to reach the final of a Grand Slam, which he did in 2010, in both mixed doubles (partnering with Kveta Peschke) and men's doubles (partnering with Rohan Bopanna) at the US Open.