LONDON -- An Israeli-Pakistani doubles team won the ATP's Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award on Thursday for promoting "tolerance through tennis."
"During a summer when fear and hatred garnered much of the headlines, Amir and Aisam-ul-Haq provided much needed relief with their simple message about tolerance through tennis," ATP chief executive Mark Miles said.
The award comes on the 10th anniversary of Ashe's death.
Ashe was the first black man to win the U.S Open in 1968, one of his 33 titles. Ashe fought racism during a career in which he was an ambassador for his sport. A tennis stadium in New York is named for him.
Hadad and Qureshi reached the third round at Wimbledon and the second round at the U.S Open.
"I have had quite a lot of people come up to me at the airport or on the airplane and ask me when I was going to play with the Pakistani player again," Hadad said. "I never heard anybody say, 'Don't play with him' or something like that."
Qureshi, who was denounced by the head of tennis in Pakistan during Wimbledon for playing with Hadad, thanked his parents for their support.
"They also helped me and gave me confidence that I was doing the right thing," he said. "It's good for the game. They were telling me to keep it up. All my family and everybody at home were proud of me."
Lleyton Hewitt was honored as player of the year for the second straight time. The Australian won five titles in 2002, including Wimbledon.
Other ATP winners: Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand (most improved player), Paul-Henri Mathieu of France (newcomer), Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands (comeback player) and Daniel Nestor of Canada and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas (doubles team).
The winners were selected in voting by the players, with ballots collected during the Australian Open last month.
In a separate poll on the ATP Web site, Russia's Marat Safin won the "fans' favorite" award.
The Associated Press News Service
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