Pakistan's top player recalls his moment of glory with Roger Federer



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Pakistan's top player recalls his moment of glory with Roger Federer

Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi has always been engaged in the fight against racial discrimination, in 2002 his partnership in double with the Israeli Amir Hadad in two slam tournaments, Wimbledon and above all US Open, in which he reached the third round, gave to him the front pages of the New York Times.

At the end of the season, the couple was also awarded the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year, a title with which the ATP names the athletes who have distinguished themselves most from the humanitarian point of view, outside the tennis court.

Speaking on the podcast "Control the Controllables" with Dan Kiernan, the Pakistan's top player talked about the memories he has of playing Roger Federer.

Qureshi: 'I beat Roger Federer yet no one knew my name back home'

"In 2007, I qualified for the main draw of Wimbledon men's singles, where I won the first round.

I was the first player from Pakistan in 50 years to have qualified for a Grand Slam. In 2009, I ended up beating Roger Federer in doubles in Basel. And I thought, this was a big thing to do in tennis and I would be recognized back home.

But that wasn't the case," Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi said. "When I made USO 2010 finals, I was finally recognized not only in the world of tennis, but Pakistan as well!" Qureshi added. "People know the likes of Imran Khan, Waqar Younis and Jahangir Khan.

I wanted my name to come with them when people talked about tennis. I have responsibility to be a role model in my country, to be a door opener. I don't see myself like Roger Federer in Switzerland, but I want to motivate the kids in my country to make a career out of tennis, just like Federer did," he finished.

As Pakistan's No. 1, Qureshi has traditionally led Pakistan's Davis Cup campaigns. After shocking New Zealand in the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I second round play-off in 2004 to survive relegation, he took them to the World Group Play-Offs for the first time in 2005, before they were beaten by Chile.

He has won the most Davis Cup matches for Pakistan, being the most successful singles and doubles player from his country ever. He is also part of the most successful doubles pairing for Pakistan (with Aqeel Khan) in the country's sporting history.

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.