Indo-Pak Express in US Open final
For once, historical rivals India and Pakistan were on the same side, cheering for Rohan Bopanna from India and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi from Pakistan late on Wednesday night at the semi finals of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.sports Updated: Sep 10, 2010 02:15 IST
For once, historical rivals India and Pakistan were on the same side, cheering for Rohan Bopanna from India and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi from Pakistan late on Wednesday night at the semi finals of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
The 16th seeded pair overcame the challenge of Argentines Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zeballos to enter their first Grand Slam finals.
But the best measure of what they achieved was to be found in the stands, not the scoreline. It was a match that even brought the UN ambassadors from India and Pakistan to sit together in the stands.
"This is sports but it shows the great potential," India's envoy Hardeep Puri said.
"Hardeep and I are… always looking for avenues to open. This is a magnificent one," said his counterpart Abdullah H Haroon.
The 'Indo-Pak Express' of Bopanna and Qureshi partnered first in 2003. Their story gathered steam this year as they began winning consistently, even as they started wearing sweatshirts with the slogan 'Stop War, Start Tennis'.
They now face top seeds Mike and Bob Bryan of the US, the most successful doubles team in history. But they beat the Bryan brothers last month, so they know anything is possible.
"We're just trying to promote peace through sports," said Bopanna.
"Sports can reach where no religion or politics can," Qureshi said.
First Published: Sep 09, 2010 07:57 IST