Diamonds in the Desert
By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, email@example.com
Mohammad Al Ghareeb of Kuwait
While Pakistanâ€™s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi is the most notable Muslim tennis player on the professional menâ€™s tennis circuit, a couple of Arabs are slowly making names for themselves on tour as well. Mohammad Al Ghareeb of Kuwait and Mubarak Zaid of Qatar have formed a menâ€™s doubles team that has cracked the world top 50 of menâ€™s doubles teams. Al Ghareeb is the more accomplished player of the two, and he even came close to an upset of World number one Roger Federer in the second round of the 2006 Dubai Tennis Championships. Al Ghareeb actually led 4-2 in the first set, and then 3-2 in the second, but fell 7-6(5), 6-4. Federer was even quoted after the match as saying that Al Ghareeb was â€œdefinitely the better player and I think only my experience helped me get through.â€
Al Ghareeb has seen a good amount of success in Davis Cup play, representing his home country of Kuwait. He has a career 43-19 record in Davis Cup play for Kuwait, 31-9 in singles, and 12-10 in doubles. He is the winningest player in Kuwait Davis Cup history, and he has the longest tenure of anyone in Kuwait Davis Cup history.
With a career high menâ€™s singles ranking of 336, Al Ghareeb has not found his groove on the menâ€™s singles circuit as of yet. But, as with Federer, other players on tour have noticed his talent. In the 2009 Dubai Tennis Championships he lost a tight match in the first round to third seed Gilles Simon, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. Afterward, Simon was full of praise for his opponent, saying that Al Ghareeb â€œhas a strange ranking, 400 or so, with his game, itâ€™s just unbelievable.â€ Al Ghareeb and Zaid are currently ranked number 47 in the world in the Association of Tennis Professionals world menâ€™s doubles team rankings.