Aisam hopeful of good performance in CWG

September 18th, 2010 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Rohan Bopanna Karachi, Sep 18 (IANS) Pakistan’s tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi is hoping for a forceful performance in next month’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Aisam, who reached the US Open doubles final along with his Indian partner Rohan Bopanna, is confident that he can also do well in a series of international assignments in the remaining year.

He won’t have Bopanna as his partner in New Delhi, but Aisam has said that even with Aqeel Khan, his long-term Davis Cup partner, he can put up a good show in the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.

“For me, playing for Pakistan is the highest honour and I will try to give my best for my country in the Commonwealth Games,” he told The News Saturday.

Aisam might have to miss the Asian Games — penciled in for this December in Guangzhou (China) — as the quadrennial spectacle will clash with the year-end Masters championship.

Aisam said that together with Bopanna he can win a Grand Slam title in 2011.

“Off course, we can. Our game is going up. We played really well as a team all of this year and especially at the US Open. I’m confident that we have it in us to win a Grand Slam next year,” he said.

The Pakistan-India partnership, according to Aisam, finds itself comfortable on all sorts of surfaces.

“We are doing well on grass, clay or hard courts and that’s a really good thing,” said Aisam.

He hopes to carry on with Bopanna, whom he describes as his best friend on the tour, in the coming years.

“Rohan is my best friend on the tour. We enjoy playing together and that’s reflecting in our results,” he added.

Aisam and Bopanna are partnering at a time when relations between Pakistan and India are pretty tense.

Does that affect their friendship?

“No, it doesn’t,” said Aisam. “When Pakistan and India are playing each other, I support Pakistan and he (Bopanna) is backing India. It’s quite natural.”

“We may be partners but there is still room for some professional rivalry. Even next month I might be playing against Rohan in New Delhi in the Commonwealth Games and the rivalry will be there. But it doesn’t affect our relationship as friends and doubles partners.”

Aisam, who won a lot of hearts with his touching speech after the US Open final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, said he would continue to spread the message of peace wherever he plays.

“I feel that it’s my duty to spread the message that Pakistan is a peace-loving country and I’ll continue doing it.”

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