It was a pretty exciting final - two sets, both tiebreaks - great play from all four players. But more interesting than the outcome was the team the Bryan’s played against for the Championship. Their opponents were Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Huq Qureshi. Bopanna is from India and Qureshi is from Pakistan.
The UN ambassadors from both countries sat together in the stands, watching the match.
” “Is world peace going to prevail?” wondered one fan at the 2010 U.S. Open doubles final Friday afternoon at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I think the bet from the last 3,000 years of history is going against it,” his friend answered.
[After the match]…in a moving address from center court, Mr. Qureshi pleaded for acceptance of his countrymen to loud applause. “Every time I come here I feel there’s a very wrong perception of Pakistan as a terrorist country,” he spoke into the microphone. “We want peace in this world as much as you guys want.”
Later the ambassadors of the two countries surprised the Bryan brothers in their press conference by presenting each with a beautifully patterned cloth, in thanks for their efforts to raise funds for flood relief in Pakistan.”
Bob Bryan also won the Mixed Doubles Championship with Leizel Huber - beating Qureshi and his partner in the finals. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more from Qureshi and Bopanna - they’re both great doubles players and both speak out for peace, though Qureshi seems more comfortable speaking emotionally and eloquently to stadiums of thousands of people. According to the UN ambassadors yesterday, the two players will be playing on the India/Pakistan border - with Qureshi playing on the India side and Bopanna playing on the Pakistan side.
When they first teamed up together they wore shirts which read, “End War, Start Tennis”. Tennis is probably the most “international” of all sports, so their message can, does, and will reach far and wide.