Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis? - MensTennisForums.com
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
tennis2tennis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Geneva
Posts: 3,531
                     
Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis?

I've always hated "what if" scenarios, like what if Rafa played in Sampras's era or what if Federer was left handed, partly because the cross era debate is irrationale (people are born when they're born) and the other type of 'what if' is very doable but is the limitation of a players skill and style, hence the if my aunt was born with balls she'd be uncle jokes.

The "What If" scenarios I do enjoy are the possible scenarios that were out of a players hands....eg the Monica Seles stabbing,

Personally I find one of the biggest "what if" questions involves Mansour Bahrami who was severely hampered because of travel restrictions imposed on his Iranian passport...I read his memoir and he talks about wiping the floor with all these "mid-table" players in France yet watching as they and not he take shot's at Mcenroe, Bjorn and Connors ...what do you guys think, if Bahrami was allowed to travel during his prime would he have made a breakthrough in the singles...would he have been a top 10 player...or even won a major? Or did his scenario cover up his tactical limitations as a player?

Last edited by tennis2tennis; 05-27-2011 at 03:00 PM.
tennis2tennis is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 01:49 AM
Forum Umpire:
Gaston Gaudio
 
Action Jackson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 124,507
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis?

Bahrami is another league. Imagine if he could have left Iran at an earlier age than he did.

I loved his tricks, here is an old article.



http://www.delorenzosdugout.com/mansour.htm

Mansour Bahrami: The Best Player You Never Heard of

By James H. DeLorenzo

[Originally published in the ATP Tour's International Tennis Magazine July/August 1997 issue.]

The tales about Mansour Bahrami could make a great movie, featuring political intrigue, romance, exotic international locales, a compelling central character, as well as some spectacular tennis.

Bahrami is probably the best known player that no one has ever heard of, for a multitude of reasons. He is currently a mainstay of the men's over-35 senior tennis circuit, known as the Nuveen Tour in the United States. The 41-year-old Iranian plays alongside more familiar names such as Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Guillermo Vilas.

Often, however, it is Bahrami the fans come to love, cheering on the colorful, mustachioed champion of the trick shot.

Johan Kriek remembers Bahrami on the satellite circuit in South Africa in the '70s.

"Believe it or not, he was doing his tricks even more then," Kriek said. "He was a talentedly wacky player, and then he just vanished."

Bahrami's story begins in Arak, Iran, where Bahrami was raised in a small hut measuring about 12 meters square. His father was a gardener, making minimal wages, at the royal tennis courts in Tehran's sports center, enabling Bahrami to grow up around tennis.

At the age of five, Bahrami became a 10 cents an hour ball boy at the courts, but he was strictly forbidden to play tennis. Since buying his own racquet was also out of the question, Bahrami learned to play tennis using a dustpan, or a piece of wood, or the palm of his hand. He had no coach, or lessons.

"To have a coach, you had to pay, and I couldn't afford it," said Bahrami. "I learned everything myself from watching people play."

When he was 13, someone gave him their used racquet. But it didn't last long. For not only was equipment expensive and hard to find, but court time itself was a dangerous commodity.

Bahrami and some of his friends decided to play on the royal courts one day when no one was around - it was over 100 degrees during the hottest time of the year.

"I started to play and within one minute, I saw these guards come out and they took me and beat me up very badly," Bahrami said. "They slammed me to the ground five or six times until I was bleeding from the head and ears. Then they took my racquet and stepped on it until it was in splinters."

So it was back to the dustpans and walls for Bahrami, at least for a while. Somehow, a few months later, the Iranian Tennis Foundation took notice of the young Bahrami. At 16, he was selected to take part in a junior Wimbledon tournament.

"I stayed at the King George Hotel, but I had no money," he said. "I didn't eat anything for three days, and after that, I had to play on the first grass court I ever saw in my life."

Not surprisingly, he lost to Billy Martin, 6-0, 6-0. But it gave him a glimpse of what tennis could be. And then, just as he was becoming a Davis Cup hopeful, his world came crashing down when the Ayatollah came to power in 1978.

"We were told tennis was an imperialist, capitalist game and we weren't allowed to play," said Bahrami. "It was terrible for me. I had no job. I had no work. I couldn't play tennis. I could convince no one to play with me. We were afraid we would be shot."

Bahrami talked with a friend who knew the Foreign Minister and lobbied to get a visa to France. The tennis courts were open there; unfortunately, so were the casinos. He landed in Nice in August, 1980 with about $2,000 in pocket money.

"I figured I could live on that maybe 10 days or so. Then I thought, if I win at the casinos I can get maybe $8,000 or $9,000 and stay three, four months. In 20 minutes, I lost all my money."

Bahrami slept under bridges and ate chestnuts, until a chance meeting with an Iranian tennis acquaintance led him to playing in several small tournaments. He found part-time employment giving lessons at the Villepinte Tennis Club near Paris.

"There were days in Paris when I had nothing to eat," Bahrami recalled. "I walked the streets because I had nowhere to go. But I tried to think positive. I always believed that if you want something and pay the price, you can do it."

He was able to renew his visa, but French officials told him he had to declare himself a political refugee or leave the country.

"I don't do politics, I play tennis," said Bahrami.

Refusing to label himself politically, Bahrami dodged the authorities for two months until he, surprisingly, qualified for the 1981 French Open. There, Bahrami beat one of the top French players, Davis Cup veteran Jean-Louis Haillet in straight sets, and gained the attention of the French press.

"They wrote how wrong it was for a great sportsman not to be a citizen of the world. And I got my green card."

Five years later, Bahrami gained a visa to travel abroad, and joined the ATP Tour at the age of 30. His proudest moment may have come at the 1989 French Open, when Bahrami teamed with Eric Winogradsky to reach the doubles final. (He reached his highest ranking in singles, #192, in 1988, and was ranked #31 in doubles in 1987.)

Off the court, life in Paris led, as one would expect, to romance. He met his wife, Frederique, in a traffic jam on the Champs Elysee, three minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve 1981.

As Bahrami tells the tale, "I started talking to this woman in another car. I thought she was nice. And I said, is it true that on New Year's Eve people hug each other and say Happy New Year. And she said, yes. So by this time it was midnight, and I just got out of my car and said Happy New Year and gave her a hug. And two years later, we got married."

Together Bahrami and Frederique have two boys, Sam (12) and Antoine (8).

Someone who saw Bahrami play at this time was Connors, who invited Bahrami to join his then-fledgling senior circuit in 1994.

"I thought his attitude, the way he goes about things, would be appreciated in America," Connors said. "He adds a lot to what we've got going here. He's fun on the court, fun off it. The fans didn't know him the first year, but now everywhere we go they ask if he's going to be playing."

"I am a showman," said Bahrami of his unusual court presence. "Maybe this is not right to say, but I like to perform. I like to see the people laugh, I like to entertain them. Winning is not the main thing. For me, the main thing is that people enjoy what I did. That is very, very important to me."

Bahrami's tricks on court, whether a lethal topspin, catching a lobbed ball in his pants pocket or holding a dozen balls in one hand while serving, are crowd-pleasers, but can unnerve opponents.

"Whenever my friends and I got a chance to play, we'd undercut the ball just to see how it would go," the court jester explained. "I never had a coach, so nobody ever taught me to stop it."

"Sometimes the players get mad at me because the people are happy, sometimes they think I am disrespecting them, but it has nothing to do with the players. The people are paying me. It is the people who are making this work. If the people don't come out, there's no sports to worry about," said Bahrami.

One of Bahrami's opponents on the Nuveen Tour is Eddie Dibbs.

"He's amazing," Dibbs said. "He undercuts the ball and it comes back over the net. He's a pretty good athlete, and puts on a good show, but he's a pain in the butt to play."

John Lloyd, another Nuveen Tour stalwart, agreed. "His drop shots are very frustrating," said Lloyd. "I beat him once, but I did so much running I was cramping after the match."

"Who knows what I could have done if I had been able to play when I was in my 20s," Bahrami said. "The years these players were in the highest ranks of professional tennis, I was not allowed to play. I lost 10 of my best years. I never won a title, I never had the chance. But it does no good to think about that. I never thought I couldn't compete with these guys (Connors, Borg, McEnroe and company). I'm very honored to be playing with these guys now.

"Tennis is something very special in my life," continued Bahrami. "I don't think I can live without playing tennis.

"I also think I'm a very lucky man," Bahrami concluded. "I'm very lucky to have a family, I'm very lucky to be over 40 and playing with the legends of tennis."

Bahrami, recently captured the doubles title at May's Corel Champions tournament in Washington, DC alongside Tim Wilkison. The best player you never heard of continues to create his own tennis legend

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
Action Jackson is offline  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 01:57 AM
Registered User
 
out_here_grindin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cedar City,Utah
Posts: 12,501
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis?

I would have been very interesting to see. I wish he could have made more of his talent in his prime. He must have been an animal in his prime when it came to touch. Probably similiar to a Marcelo Rios type player

Paradorn Srichaphan
Kei Nishikori, Donald Young, Somdev Devvarman, Dustin Brown, Steve Johnson, Yannick Maden
Robert Farah, Clement Reix, Alexander Dolgopolov, Nathan Thompson


Follow college tennis here.. (I am the user Clemson_tennis)
out_here_grindin is offline  
 
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 03:19 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,135
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis?

Very unfortunate. I have heard very good things about him...
tribalfusion is offline  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 06:26 AM
Registered User
 
shiaben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,068
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis?

I'm Iranian, and sad to say, he wouldn't be a top 10 (maybe top 15-30). I think at most, he would have had a few QF and SF runs if he'd have a basic bracket,and ended his career that way. I don't see him winning slams, just me.
shiaben is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 07:55 AM
Registered User
 
Mohammad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Age: 30
Posts: 233
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis?

Yeah, he could have been more successful and even a top 10 player, if the 1979 revolution had not occurred in Iran.
Mohammad is offline  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 08:02 AM
♤23♤
 
Deathless Mortal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 32,984
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Action Jackson View Post
Bahrami is another league. Imagine if he could have left Iran at an earlier age than he did.

I loved his tricks, here is an old article.



http://www.delorenzosdugout.com/mansour.htm

Mansour Bahrami: The Best Player You Never Heard of

By James H. DeLorenzo

[Originally published in the ATP Tour's International Tennis Magazine July/August 1997 issue.]

The tales about Mansour Bahrami could make a great movie, featuring political intrigue, romance, exotic international locales, a compelling central character, as well as some spectacular tennis.

Bahrami is probably the best known player that no one has ever heard of, for a multitude of reasons. He is currently a mainstay of the men's over-35 senior tennis circuit, known as the Nuveen Tour in the United States. The 41-year-old Iranian plays alongside more familiar names such as Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Guillermo Vilas.

Often, however, it is Bahrami the fans come to love, cheering on the colorful, mustachioed champion of the trick shot.

Johan Kriek remembers Bahrami on the satellite circuit in South Africa in the '70s.

"Believe it or not, he was doing his tricks even more then," Kriek said. "He was a talentedly wacky player, and then he just vanished."

Bahrami's story begins in Arak, Iran, where Bahrami was raised in a small hut measuring about 12 meters square. His father was a gardener, making minimal wages, at the royal tennis courts in Tehran's sports center, enabling Bahrami to grow up around tennis.

At the age of five, Bahrami became a 10 cents an hour ball boy at the courts, but he was strictly forbidden to play tennis. Since buying his own racquet was also out of the question, Bahrami learned to play tennis using a dustpan, or a piece of wood, or the palm of his hand. He had no coach, or lessons.

"To have a coach, you had to pay, and I couldn't afford it," said Bahrami. "I learned everything myself from watching people play."

When he was 13, someone gave him their used racquet. But it didn't last long. For not only was equipment expensive and hard to find, but court time itself was a dangerous commodity.

Bahrami and some of his friends decided to play on the royal courts one day when no one was around - it was over 100 degrees during the hottest time of the year.

"I started to play and within one minute, I saw these guards come out and they took me and beat me up very badly," Bahrami said. "They slammed me to the ground five or six times until I was bleeding from the head and ears. Then they took my racquet and stepped on it until it was in splinters."

So it was back to the dustpans and walls for Bahrami, at least for a while. Somehow, a few months later, the Iranian Tennis Foundation took notice of the young Bahrami. At 16, he was selected to take part in a junior Wimbledon tournament.

"I stayed at the King George Hotel, but I had no money," he said. "I didn't eat anything for three days, and after that, I had to play on the first grass court I ever saw in my life."

Not surprisingly, he lost to Billy Martin, 6-0, 6-0. But it gave him a glimpse of what tennis could be. And then, just as he was becoming a Davis Cup hopeful, his world came crashing down when the Ayatollah came to power in 1978.

"We were told tennis was an imperialist, capitalist game and we weren't allowed to play," said Bahrami. "It was terrible for me. I had no job. I had no work. I couldn't play tennis. I could convince no one to play with me. We were afraid we would be shot."

Bahrami talked with a friend who knew the Foreign Minister and lobbied to get a visa to France. The tennis courts were open there; unfortunately, so were the casinos. He landed in Nice in August, 1980 with about $2,000 in pocket money.

"I figured I could live on that maybe 10 days or so. Then I thought, if I win at the casinos I can get maybe $8,000 or $9,000 and stay three, four months. In 20 minutes, I lost all my money."

Bahrami slept under bridges and ate chestnuts, until a chance meeting with an Iranian tennis acquaintance led him to playing in several small tournaments. He found part-time employment giving lessons at the Villepinte Tennis Club near Paris.

"There were days in Paris when I had nothing to eat," Bahrami recalled. "I walked the streets because I had nowhere to go. But I tried to think positive. I always believed that if you want something and pay the price, you can do it."

He was able to renew his visa, but French officials told him he had to declare himself a political refugee or leave the country.

"I don't do politics, I play tennis," said Bahrami.

Refusing to label himself politically, Bahrami dodged the authorities for two months until he, surprisingly, qualified for the 1981 French Open. There, Bahrami beat one of the top French players, Davis Cup veteran Jean-Louis Haillet in straight sets, and gained the attention of the French press.

"They wrote how wrong it was for a great sportsman not to be a citizen of the world. And I got my green card."

Five years later, Bahrami gained a visa to travel abroad, and joined the ATP Tour at the age of 30. His proudest moment may have come at the 1989 French Open, when Bahrami teamed with Eric Winogradsky to reach the doubles final. (He reached his highest ranking in singles, #192, in 1988, and was ranked #31 in doubles in 1987.)

Off the court, life in Paris led, as one would expect, to romance. He met his wife, Frederique, in a traffic jam on the Champs Elysee, three minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve 1981.

As Bahrami tells the tale, "I started talking to this woman in another car. I thought she was nice. And I said, is it true that on New Year's Eve people hug each other and say Happy New Year. And she said, yes. So by this time it was midnight, and I just got out of my car and said Happy New Year and gave her a hug. And two years later, we got married."

Together Bahrami and Frederique have two boys, Sam (12) and Antoine (8).

Someone who saw Bahrami play at this time was Connors, who invited Bahrami to join his then-fledgling senior circuit in 1994.

"I thought his attitude, the way he goes about things, would be appreciated in America," Connors said. "He adds a lot to what we've got going here. He's fun on the court, fun off it. The fans didn't know him the first year, but now everywhere we go they ask if he's going to be playing."

"I am a showman," said Bahrami of his unusual court presence. "Maybe this is not right to say, but I like to perform. I like to see the people laugh, I like to entertain them. Winning is not the main thing. For me, the main thing is that people enjoy what I did. That is very, very important to me."

Bahrami's tricks on court, whether a lethal topspin, catching a lobbed ball in his pants pocket or holding a dozen balls in one hand while serving, are crowd-pleasers, but can unnerve opponents.

"Whenever my friends and I got a chance to play, we'd undercut the ball just to see how it would go," the court jester explained. "I never had a coach, so nobody ever taught me to stop it."

"Sometimes the players get mad at me because the people are happy, sometimes they think I am disrespecting them, but it has nothing to do with the players. The people are paying me. It is the people who are making this work. If the people don't come out, there's no sports to worry about," said Bahrami.

One of Bahrami's opponents on the Nuveen Tour is Eddie Dibbs.

"He's amazing," Dibbs said. "He undercuts the ball and it comes back over the net. He's a pretty good athlete, and puts on a good show, but he's a pain in the butt to play."

John Lloyd, another Nuveen Tour stalwart, agreed. "His drop shots are very frustrating," said Lloyd. "I beat him once, but I did so much running I was cramping after the match."

"Who knows what I could have done if I had been able to play when I was in my 20s," Bahrami said. "The years these players were in the highest ranks of professional tennis, I was not allowed to play. I lost 10 of my best years. I never won a title, I never had the chance. But it does no good to think about that. I never thought I couldn't compete with these guys (Connors, Borg, McEnroe and company). I'm very honored to be playing with these guys now.

"Tennis is something very special in my life," continued Bahrami. "I don't think I can live without playing tennis.

"I also think I'm a very lucky man," Bahrami concluded. "I'm very lucky to have a family, I'm very lucky to be over 40 and playing with the legends of tennis."

Bahrami, recently captured the doubles title at May's Corel Champions tournament in Washington, DC alongside Tim Wilkison. The best player you never heard of continues to create his own tennis legend
Thanks, it was a good read


"a kad me opet gore vrati zahvalit' ću Mu prvo
što nam je dao komad zemlje što je za sebe sačuv'o"
Deathless Mortal is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 02:57 AM
Registered User
 
SaFed2005's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 5,394
                     
Cool Mansour Bahrami :) WOW!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mansour_Bahrami

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6Vqp6UveIU

Wow This guys is AWESOME!!!

PAW Singles Ranking - 396
TITLES (TMS Rome 04', Rolland Garros 04', Wimbeldon 04')
RUNNER-UP (Rosmalen 04' US Open 04')
SaFed2005 is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 02:57 AM
Registered User
 
Luinir's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 14,784
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami :) WOW!!!

Good morning, how are you?

The biggest fan of Santiago Giraldo
Luinir is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 03:06 AM
Registered User
 
SaFed2005's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 5,394
                     
Wink Re: Mansour Bahrami :) WOW!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luinir View Post
Good morning, how are you?
Great

PAW Singles Ranking - 396
TITLES (TMS Rome 04', Rolland Garros 04', Wimbeldon 04')
RUNNER-UP (Rosmalen 04' US Open 04')
SaFed2005 is offline  
post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 04:47 AM
Registered User
 
Pirata.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: usa
Age: 29
Posts: 13,372
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami :) WOW!!!

Great thread

Rafael Nadal & Novak Djokovic: The Evoulution of a Handshake
federer ferrer wawrinka raonic flopez istomin mannarino pospisil
verdasco

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuitYerWhining View Post
Ever trolled, ever failed, no matter.
Post again, troll again, troll harder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay Death View Post
mods drag this thread outside and have several spotted hyenas shit on it for 4 straight days. you may have to bribe the hyenas but they will shit on it.
Pirata. is offline  
post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 08:15 AM
Registered User
 
Forehander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,615
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis?

sounds like the dolgopolov type. But is he as entertaining as Koellerer and Labadze?

The BIGGEST (borderline delusional) fan of players on General Message Board according to Forehander:
Grigor Dimitrov: FedererBulgaria
Borna Coric: Crowdmaker
Nick Krygios: Dan.
Tommy Haas: Leng Jai
Sebastien Grosjean: Myself
Novak Djokovic: Chiico (Leader of the No1e Cult)
Forehander is offline  
post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 10:31 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 14,747
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis?

Legend
rhinooooo is offline  
post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 10:35 AM
Registered User
 
ExcaliburII's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Age: 27
Posts: 34,673
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami one of the biggest 'what if's' in men's tennis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forehander View Post
sounds like the dolgopolov type. But is he as entertaining as Koellerer and Labadze?
Way more entertaining

The Magic Treble
© ExcaliburII

ExcaliburII is offline  
post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 10:42 AM
Banned!
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,513
                     
Re: Mansour Bahrami :) WOW!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaFed2005 View Post
What a cool dude
The Magician is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the MensTennisForums.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome