Tennis Players Use Court to Unify Indian Subcontinent

Friday, September 03, 2010

Rohan Bopanna of India and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan during Day 3 of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters at the Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 18, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty)

Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi holds the honor of being Pakistan’s number one ranked tennis player; but, as he competes in the U.S. Open, it is clear that he is playing for more than just the gold. Qureshi competes alongside doubles partner Rohann Bopanna; the pair has been dubbed "The Indo-Pak Express" on the international tennis circuit because Qureshi is a Pakistani Muslim, and Bopanna a Hindu from India.

And while the pair has explicitly stated their aim to overcome sixty years of hostility between their countries, the question remains: how can tennis heal the cultural wounds on the subcontinent?

For the answer to that we turn to Takeaway Sports correspondent Ibrahim Abdul-Matin.

Guests:

Ibrahim Abdul-Matin

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

Comments [2]

Siraj Husain from (previously from MI; now Hyd, India)

The infamous Indo-Pak strife is been there for a long time. Our esteemed politicians never help the issue. Having said that, till recently, in the IPL (Indian Premier League - cricket), IND and PAK played side by side (on the same team), along with other world players. So the coalition in tennis is not "new" per say; however, being at the individual level, is somewhat impressive. I just wish that, once again, our esteemed politicians (on both sides), could battle it out in the tennis court!
PS - I am also a little biased to Ibrahim, being his brother-in-law ~

Sep. 03 2010 09:34 PM
Fatima from Brooklyn, NY

Great segment! Though I am biased being Ibrahim's wife. I'm also Indian and think his analysis of whether this doubles team could impact Indian-Pakistani relations is on point. Anyone that makes the international stage in South Asian athletics becomes adored and revered in these countries. Tennis Doubles is unique in that they are playing together - not against each other - so Ibrahim is right. Indians and Pakistanis have to come together to cheer for them. This is already a huge win for the Indo-Pak Express.

Sep. 03 2010 04:30 PM

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