Mansour Bahrami
Mansour Bahrami
Mansour Bahrami
Mansour Bahrami
YTD Rank: ${ytdRank} Career High Rank (${careerDate}): ${careerRank}
  • Personal
  • Mansour Bahrami is regarded as one of the most naturally gifted players to ever pick up a tennis racquet and one of the sport's greatest entertainers. Rod Laver, Ilie Nastase, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe can all attest to the skill of an Iranian hill tribesman, who battled poverty and all manner of obstacles to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional tennis player. 

    Bahrami taught himself to play tennis using an old medal frying pan and other kitchen utensils, before he owned his first racquet aged 13. Forced to stop competing during the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79, he played backgammon every day for three years in Tehran, until his luck changed and he won a local tournament with the prize of flights to Athens. He paid $200 to change the tickets to Nice and left his girlfriend and family. 

    France offered Bahrami the opportunity to play small tournaments, but you had to win to collect prize money. Realising the cost of living was higher than in Iran, he gambled his savings in a casino and lost the lot on his first night in Nice. When his French visa ran out and without a carte de sejour, he became a political refugee, an illegal immigrant, constantly in fear of the police, regularly sleeping rough and making food last for days. He relied on the financial support of friends.

    Bahrami had turned 30 by the time he was allowed to compete as a full-time professional player, compiling a 2-10 record in doubles finals. Promoters were known to pay him guarantees to enter qualifying tournaments, such was his allure. In 1989, the year he first held dual French and Iranian nationality, he reached the Roland Garros doubles final with Eric Winogradsky.

    When the ATP Champions Tour was established in 1993, Bahrami found his niche and he was able to showcase his remarkable trick shots to audiences worldwide. In 2006, he published his autobiography, Le court des miracles, and released a DVD, The Man Behind the Moustache, which chronicled his life story. Bahrami is married to Frederique and they have two children, Antoine and Sam. 

    Bio: James Buddell


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