Pride of Pakistan – Haroon Rahim: The Unknown Hero
Very few people are familiar with the name of Haroon Rahim; the tennis player from Pakistan who holds the distinction of playing in the prestigious tennis tournaments the French Open, Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon.
Haroon Rahim was born in Lahore in 1949. His father simply loved tennis and encouraged all his children to play. Haroon’s two brothers and sister were national champions. Haroon, a child prodigy became the Pakistan National Champion and represented Pakistan in the Davis Cup in the same year. Both the achievements still stand as unbroken records in Pakistan. Realizing his potential, the prestigious University of California (UCLA) offered him scholarship. Here his skills were honed under the guidance of his coach Glenn Bassett. The trio of Haroon Rahim, Jimmy Connors and Geoff Borowiak won two NCAA titles for the university; one in 1970 and the other in 1971. He was also the winner of the NCAA men’s double title in 1971 with Geoff Borowiak being his partner.
In 1968 still a teenager, Haroon entered professional tennis and in 1971 became the first Pakistani to reach the quarter finals of the US Open doubles. Haroon participated in many grand slam events. He is the only Pakistani to win two ATP single and three ATP double titles.
In 1977, Haroon was ranked 44th the highest ranking of any Pakistani player so far. Haroon married an American lady and settled in Los Angeles. Haroon lost contact with his family and maybe that is the reason that Pakistanis are not familiar with this tennis hero.
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