Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi has raised more than £29,000 from an auction of sports memorabilia to raise funds for COVID-19-related causes.
It is great to see coaches and tournaments offer some truly incredible and unique experiences to our fans. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the ability of many people to work and coaches are no exception. The fact this initiative also helps fellow members of the tennis family during this uncertain time shows the unity and innovative spirit of tennis. Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both contributed to the cause by donating items for the 40-year-old’s Stars Against Hunger campaign.
Federer’s shoes, which he wore at the 2011 Cincinnati Masters, were auctioned for almost £14,500 and one of Nadal’s shirts was sold to a Spanish tennis academy for £8,900.
Qureshi’s own shirt was auctioned for £2,400, while two balls signed by cricket legend Wasim Akram were sold for £2,900 and £1,200 respectively.
The remaining memorabilia, which includes shirts from Federer and men’s World No 1Novak Djokovic, will be auctioned in the near future, says Qureshi in a report in The Nation.
A racket belonging to former women’s Doubles No 1 Sania Mirza is due to be sold in the next lot also.
There are more than 103,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan to date, resulting in the deaths of more than 2,000 people.
Qureshi reached the final of the US Open men’s and mixed doubles in 2010, his only Grand Slam final appearances to date, and the following year hit a career-high doubles ranking at World No 8.
Elsewhere, the ATP and coaches are partnering to offer fan experiences and raise COVID-19 relief funds
to support coaches impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The ATP says the experiences have been launched in collaboration with members of its coach programme.
Tennis fans will be able to bid for experiences through auctions and prize draws on fundraising platform Givergy.
Experiences will include private coaching sessions with ATP coaches including Paul Annacone, Boris Becker, Darren Cahill, Brad Gilbert, Goran Ivanišević, Ivan Lendl, Ivan Ljubičić, Patrick Mouratoglou, Carlos Moyá and Márian Vajda.
Sessions will take place on-site at 2021 ATP Tour and Grand Slam events and include a combination of match tickets, premium hospitality and unique behind-the-scenes access.
The ATP added that exclusive merchandise will also be made available on the platform.
“It is great to see coaches and tournaments offer some truly incredible and unique experiences to our fans,” ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the ability of many people to work and coaches are no exception.
“The fact this initiative also helps fellow members of the tennis family during this uncertain time shows the unity and innovative spirit of tennis.”
The initial three-week bidding window is taking place from 8-29 June, while future rounds and experiences will be announced at a later date.
Funds raised will be allocated by the ATP Coaches Committee to support the members of the ATP coach programme, whose ability to work has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
In addition, a part of the proceeds will be donated to a global coronavirus relief fund.
“Coaches play a huge role in our sport and we wanted to do something creative to support the wider coaching community,” ATP coach Dani Vallverdu added.
“I am proud so many tennis icons and tournaments are getting behind this.
“I am really excited for fans to enjoy these unique tennis experiences and hopefully leave with some unforgettable memories.”
The experiences available can be found HERE.