Mansour Bahrami, the greatest tennis entertainer
Mansour reached a career high number 192 singles ranking in 1988, but he is without a doubt one of the most talentuous tennis player ever who keeps wowing tennis crowds around the world.
As a child Bahrami worked as a ball boy, and unable to afford a racket of his own improvised with frying pans, and broom handles to teach himself the game. His progress was brought to an abrupt halt when the Islamic Revolution led to the banning of professional sport in Iran. He set off for France with his life savings, which he gambled in a casino and lost!
Now aged 30 he had missed his chance to make his mark on the professional game but still managed to reach the Finals of the French Open Doubles in 1989. Bahrami reluctantly withdrew from the circuit in the early 90s and when the Champions Tour came into being in 1993, Mansour had found his calling. He now spends over 40 weeks of the year playing in tournaments and exhibitions around the world.
His speciality shots include the power shot through the legs, the lob through the legs and the drop shot which bounces back over the net due to excessive backspin. His sense of humour shines through all of his matches and the crowd are never sure of his latest move, be it serving whilst holding , an under arm serve, catching the ball in his pocket, deliberately missing a smash or playing an imaginary, slow-motion point.
I’ve seen him play 4 or 5 times, and it’s been a great pleasure everytime! He deserves a lot of credit for all he gives to tennis.