49 Mansour Bahrami (Part 1)
Monster by Rummy on your listening to functional tennis or cast welcome to episode forty nine of the functional tennis podcast brought to you in sociation woodhead. Who MAKES THEM AWESOME TENNIS RACKETS? I fabu molly your host if you show welcome if you've been here before high hope you're doing well so this week. I'm really excited. Have an episode wit Monster Baramula. I'm sure you've heard them or seen as videos or seen some of his crazy shots at one. The Grand Slams are legends are champions tour. He is the guy that you'll see hidden like running backwards smashes tween owners. He's always entertaining crowds. He's known as a master on a genius to his peers and he has a great story. He always wants to play tennis young kid in his home country in Iran tense was seen as a Western sport and was banned. The most he could use a young kid was be a Ballboy at a tennis club but he always found different utensils to us to try and hit tennis balls and that's where he built up and eventually got a chance to play. Only sixty seconds later to be kicked off the court and beaten up by guard. Finally country recognized his love on passion and skill of the game and he was allowed to play tennis and eventually made Davis Cup team as a sixteen year. Old Only a few years later tennis to be bond again so eventually he found a way to escape around onto France on there. He found more difficulties and challenges and more exciting stories until eventually made it after Turkey's onto the tour and he got to travel more. It's really fantastic. Episode with many great stories are really hope you enjoy part worn combat for part two next week. Finally we are giving away a copy of Mansoor his book. The court jester all used to do is leave a comment. Say how much enjoyed the episode under our latest? Instagram account post over at functional tennis podcast and will announce to winner in a few weeks. Okay and let's start talking to months sewer high monster. Jeremy It's a pleasure to have you on the podcast. Thank you very much here. How are you doing has confinement? I'm lucky to garden so I can go out. There vets exercise to whether the possible to do when. You're confined in lockdown so Is Pretty good on outlook denounce sixty days? Well when do you think you'll enter stage? The next stage well. The next thing is the eleventh of May in three or four days we are allowed to go out been in hundred kilometers from where related the but you know going out to play tennis going up to everything is closed the bars restaurants of Ostia. Everything's closed except ordinary shops. And everything you need to go buy closer everything so I will definitely go out but not for long. So it's not GonNa Change Not GonNa Change. Unfortunately the tennis twice as old everything is is council for the older. I had the good to scheduled for this year but now like ninety. Nine hundred percents is counseled. So that's terrible and you're in Paris. Where would you normally play tennis? Where would you practice having? Practice is stadium. That's normally I practice. Mitch's National Tennis Center that it's only open with for the people for the play as who are the top French. My is on top juniors who are trying by on their the French Federation and the Unlucky Day except to go on practice their side. Nice kind but he our Grand Slam finalists. There aren't chip. Yes absolutely that's just one of my best results on proud of that because My Best Years Mitch. The Best Year of spokesman is between twenty to thirty years of age about me from Asia almost as twenty twenty one to extensively. I couldn't play on. I couldn't compete in the professional tour. Because you know you have to travel around and my Iranian possible of not allowed to go anywhere even now I cannot go on accepting neurons so yeah. I lost my best years knock playing tennis and I play chess years old things. Leeann through east down and everything inventor intervention jollity than it was easier to go out but I was already tool. So that's why I may be my best results. Use FRIGEL confined took three years low ready. Roger Federer wouldn't agree with you. Now Rose I'm the of Roosevelt Think he presents me. Value Admire Admira. His work he I mentioned many was eleven years old but he he's essential but if he couldn't play from edge twenty to thirty if it was a come down to stay in in Basel from twenty to thirty. I don't think he could do. You need no no. I completely agree with you before he can do. Let's talk about the early days before we do that. Where did you meet Roger? Federer's and eleven year old Roger Further. Put me in two thousand and five. I remember in Nineteen ninety-two played in Basel. I play a special ceremony. The Jimmy Connors and in two thousand five. He was on a Friday. The second Friday of he was playing against his semifinal against Sebastien. Grosjean I was playing on the senior tournament that that Friday of the two thousand five in begun second Friday. It was a horrible All the replay only on sets. You know that's nothing. It's rang stopped than stop Iran on. You're going to get that. He was cenacles on. I was going Michael's to play mind much. Every talk to give it out and in the locker room and he said to me After three or four times going Union member ninety ninety-two. You said yes sure. Of course he says you've been very you played with me. I said the idea remember. I played the kids. It was pretty good but I know I didn't know it was used as it was me my sewer out there at a photo. That's in the middle of Jimmy Connors on anew. Hit some bullets you guys Vice Nice. Hit some balls to me and he asked me if I want that photo and I said I would be very very happy talk. That's looks awful. So a couple of leads every source of unaware and they didn't get into the visuals. Kind Nice opinion is as NAS. Manzo are used that Joe for three months. Let's boot camp now and I that the heat the book scalded number one and he. That's a full going there with the story of the now. I remember the photo where it is you connors and him in the middle. That's doing the rounds on social media for a while now. I completely forgot about that. That's too nice you can see. Further is unbelievable is smart is versus not much inched. Students is great yet another change and you mentioned your book. I came across your book. Yes a court jester. Yes I ordered it yesterday so I'm looking forward to reading it and we're going to give away to one of our listeners here so stay tuned to the end and I tell them how to enter so looking forward to reading that interesting book people to to read. That's incidents is nice and okay. Let's take a backseat early days. When you first came across tennis when was that for five years old and my father was a gardener in working in the in the biggest sport complex Was called Amjad Stadium. That was in Tehran Audible only place that behind tennis courts. So tennis was in new sports and for the rich people. So I start you know looking around. You have a very small room. Which was two meters on the ground and that was given to us by the Director of the stadium on the world other people who are working in the Stadium Day were in the sent attrition. As US. They had a small room. We were family of Seeing sometimes eight people you know so we have this. Motorola which was like hundred twenty square feet on I was my brothers and she said my parents that was our house our living room and through everything and so I thought working on seeing the basketball twenty fly every sport that you can imagine inside was no problem but every time I've ended the tennis courts that were kicking me Mike Butts and asking me to go out so that's why I just said why I'm not allowed to play. And they said you're not allowed to come here. This is for you know resentful to people so that made me modern on and much more keen to wanting to be a sports attorney slaving. Any office was prominent by tennis lowest. Ronin me to play so I said well you don't want to hear I've learned to be here so I came coming back They said okay. Listen you can come here as Broadway. You can bulwer for the people but you're not allowed to go to the tennis courts to play so I said that's fine. You know on full. I was working there from five in the morning till a under go to school and not four o'clock in the afternoon. I come back. I'm going to vote waiting for people to seven eight tonight on the that would be like divorce rate for that. I was getting ten cents per hour blowing for people. Just picking up to trust people. Watch pick-up also take a day. And that's what's From edge five to h thirteen. You know and Just looking at how people of blatantness on I was learning from them. It was making money which was good. I was trying to thinking that I'm helping my father because my father was making Von Day working fetchy pounds. A month civil. That was one of the reasons I never asked my father to buy me a rocket or something because she had to pay two hundred pounds to for by Iraq cancel. I played against the all the best place I was. I was lying. It was the free swimming pools down on or John. Guns you know the international Tournaments of swimming one for the kids on one open for the public to come on. They're paying twenty cents to come all day save serving on so the woman for me was then in the end of the autumn. When the any was the swimming pool was empty. I would go in Baltimore. Pool and hit against the wall with the dusk fund or read a piece of peaceful. I would find on the floor and I will stay there. A non play hours to theology. Four hours I was loving it against instable whether dust on new frying Pan Willett. I could use as a sometime. Just the palm of my on on That's how I allow and we. Actually we have a question for one of our guests called armor Lee who lives in Princeton New Jersey on these actually from Toronto. Originally I'm my name is really living in New Jersey. But just like you. I grew up in Tehran. I also play tennis in. You've always been a huge role model for me I'm thankful to functional tennis for organizing this podcast which I'm very much looking forward to. I was hoping if you could share some of your memories from the time you were in Iran playing tennis. Where did you practice? How many hours a day did you practice. Who were some of the people who influenced you and where you do doing your trick shots even back then or is that something that happened later in your career. Anything you can share. I'm sure would be appreciated by certainly by me but most likely by many others. Many things you for me was a game These to become rich because new tried one even I I. It was just because tinged one beach play. I wanted to please. So that the Trishaws was I tell you something about this trick. Shots to people. Sometimes they ask you. How did you or I have coaching one life? I everything I do on core. I just learned myself unknowable. Six seven eight years nine years old. The other kids boys who are As I was there were not allowed to go to the tennis court suit. There were bullying for people to sometimes we have this night. People with Q ten cents or twenty cents per hour of they will guy he was few new only two cents on two cents but as soon as he brought his facing Tennis or the world was running away and hiding on the you know hiding because nobody wants to this guy and the SA- director. He knew everyone hiding so it was so anyone defense got worldwide. He would pick you. Go to say the guys paying on two cents. You know so. I can't just shut up and go on mobile so we had to do that. So coming back to your question tennis. It's just a game. He was just a we. Were playing sometimes with my friends of the tennis courts. We would go and find the piece of Rope prompting to make a net ourselves the with cast on the floor. Do the Lions unplayed the me. The Don may part every piece of fooling on. Just try to do long distance between our legs behind our head of back to the nets and and be more just having fun and this state no one ever you know had the courses earlier. No one ever told me muscle. You cannot do this you know you want to become a yet. You have to play for every every empty points You not allow Stalls for me and I remember when I was an older one of us. Twelve ten eleven. I was eating against a wall and I was doing all stop and some people will just cross us and they would just say that for like half an hour on this off and just brides that they're asking me doing anything special but then you know. I stopped playing. You know later on just is to play so I will do this then crown lauded and Metoo so you know that's It wasn't very easy was actually very very hard in the beginning. We actually got a tennis racket and could play legally. Let's say look I rocket is been twelve years old. I had the this guy who was like kind of my idol. I was bored waiting for him. He was getting Was One of the Best Irani. Anthony US his name is He's locked up to seventy today. You know I saw in two months ago when I visit my family. I saw him on the to get there you. I talked to him every non then so I was going for him. I would send the bull in different spin on to him. You would go to grout bowl and the breathe. The bull would spin differently. Sometimes he was an he he lock me very much You know I- lachey menial that I was fan view as myself. Okay I'm GonNa give you a good gift if you could send the immutable Zuno. Right nano seeing so I said I. Can't I try to be a boy by then and the listens on. I worked seven eight dollars for he on the after the end of the end of the day. He gave me a Raccoons he says. I know how much you love to other. Y'All give your rockets. Those efforts the rockets on the it's was such a great woman for me and I just couldn't sleep like I bolt in other rackets on a string of myself with the strings that I have find in the pro shop that and I did myself was really something a imaginable something impossible to play but Kendra attendance with two rackets. I'm like dreaming about illegal. On Roland Garros. Unlock a lock on woking Great Lettuce on one of my friends said muster. Let's go play. There's nobody here. He was in August oculus. Forty five degrees really forty five degrees. You would be very very hot people at that time of the year that just stop forking everything that stopped under. Just go home on their lunch. Us T for five Ben is cooling dumb and then they come out on to come to life and so we've into the tennis courts Both of us he was allowed to play. I was not one in the afternoon. We have thirteen course. Old Accords were empty. So I said greatness. I'm so happy to go to the court. I just imagining in my head. I'm going to play the final of the French Open or and come to the courts. Envy hit for like maybe fourteen maybe minutes and so after one minute. I see myself surrounded by by the guards on on just trout and and one of the stops me on. He grabs me and he hit me six times on the floor. I swear to God okay. I'm GONNA die today. This is thus a my my my life and I can't live anymore. I'm bleeping Auburn. Slower is big on on the see the guy going towards my rockets and I said I said. Please don't touch my rockets on the guy gave me a very nasty back. Luke. He just he put the rug on the on. The staff smashed these foods in broke them into undocumented festival. Memory of my first rackets. One of the tennis players is is friendly. Said not the guy who was in national team whose name is out to name as he helped me to be home on my brother my older brother who is also now seventy five years old and the so me on can pick event crazy because like ten years before that they dissenting team. They didn't allow him to play. You wanted to play on bus. She's after yes. He didn't play tennis but he was ready. Big Help my brother for me on so he came and he said. Who's done this to you? My Sky who took me to my brother. Said is fully resolved on this so he knew I it is. I'll be back on. He just invented Dennis Card. I'm the guy was there on here. Just punching chiefly in these mouth enables just three or four. A tooth for the people who came being people came under the odds a shooting. I've done these kids really. I cannot believe what you did on. How a forty year old man can do this and twelve years. Old Kids do now. I was just not fair. Is Guys so much longer than me? So but devil's Devil's history he was Lou. Brits Little Bits compensating men are so my brother. Keith bought said he said you guys. Didn't he told the guy he says you guys them me play so you know. My brother was twenty years old and says if you touch once more my brother if anybody touched my brother wants like the I you know I destroy you touch my brother and again so that was the story of money rackets and then you know months Gone Than One year. Later I have to adopt Old Drawn on the infrastructures. You have a lacking usual in England in Germany. The guys who played for example for our national teams like my idol lock. These other guys are playing for one split waiting then. Were in the same situation as me. Ten twelve years earlier. Them are old boys so now on thirteen. I'm the federation needs. The new generation to come up because the generation before me was just giving all that so they come to me on. They gave me two rackets and they said muscle you know. Here's to Ruckus from now on. You can just go and make your reservation and play as much as you ones as long as you anytime. You are priority on everyone. So that's why I have. Reading infest then to brand. New Rockets is strong. The proficient or not proficient Team but in a good way for me. Evan just ended Hitting the vote is like Beating already dip Playing for prostitutes in ten fifteen years. You know so. It was much easier ones You have a reader rockets. The you know a frying pan dust on the order or a frying pan panel was much easier on. I A trick shots and everything of us doing almost fifteen fourteen. Everything that I do today. Then you playing Australia This I was doing when I was twelve. Thirteen fourteen of you know. Uh Yeah so that's Just because I never had the coach and one day my friend. Yannick Noah was the interviews on the subject of Us me the Janis told him. Yanni twenty thing. What my Told me. This visions is a very good friend. That told him what you think about muscle. How the coach? What would be the coach or something any said you know what I think. I'm happy that he never had the coast. How did he coach Play like some players you know so. He said that he didn't have coach to be honest. I really think I'm Happy Valley because I'm very happy. People Jimmy every day when on planes they just they say. Thank you on behalf. Good time see this face My days made you know on his a good day for me on dusk more important for me than You know if your on hockey to to gain money to for dot but seeing this in people's face is much more important for me. Yeah really. It's a bit like you're an exhibition. That is your job. I even think top leads to top tennis players. It's their job to entertain. That's what they're re. I noted there to win collect big prize money but ultimately when you have a big stage like that you are there to entertain a crowd on. Everybody has their own way entertained. The crowd so I think you've done amazing job and as I said before before this anytime we put up one of your videos people absolutely love your fan. Base worldwide is amazing. So yes you definitely. Put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces. Thanks I'm not cheating on. I'm not faking. All I'm doing is a great time event on the tennis court. To be honest. I'm only tennis courts. Went on to sing. That's the only time in in my whole day. That's the only time I'm just hitting Saudi blows without doing any trick shots or eighty you cannot find one not one one person spanked a few months would for example practicing than between her or that. Bica the box to the net overhead or the vaccine. You not find one because I'd never practice those shots Only with extinct. Tv invent on on the court vendors crowd. I lost to do If there's nobody I just don't feel like any Sunny Johnson will be. There's I do want to be on the so you won't be playing any behind closed doors. Tennis Exhibition matches known none. And tell me so at sixty. You Play Davis Cup. Yes that must have been unbelievable. I I started playing on Manella. Sixteen hot was a three or four times top. Three four new wrong. Yabe started to play at sixteen at the seventeen eighteen. Were some people who are ready for me. Great people about honesty stealing contact. It's one St denied Loving on I talk to him every week. If it's not every three times At least once a week is Steve. Talk to The Zoo York. Just people emmy on. They said wealthy once. You know two three four play as one of them was me that wants you to go. Unplayed speech ornaments on The pay for everything on. We don't want you to stay here. Invest your time giving lessons to to the ordinary people. So so I stopped going out and playing in seventy six. Seventy eight to seventy nine than seven nine beginning Sunday nine. Everything shut down because of the revolution in Iran on my career. Stop there the we have the one of the biggest tournament in the world in Iran intent on was called Arya Matt. Caulk this was Tober Just just before the Madrid tournaments. I think that nine thousand nine hundred seventy seven was the last time we had that tournaments and the Shaw. He was helping sport. He was trying to bring us up on an in the do the best that we can be everywhere. So he was encouraging sportsmen on also Teddy's about the seventy seven was last time we organized that tournaments on seventy eight and ten days before the tournament. They conserve team and from then on. Megyn play these anymore. More than the rival off. Islamic republic. Everything was officially forbidden on so I for like three years. Threes and not hitting one vote and then of US Bay lucky after is enough. Not Hitting One bawled. Vive are every day begging Ministry of Stores to organize its fundamental to play. You know there are so many families living off and they said American again we don't bond son. They tried to even football everything to stop it out. Stop an off. But they did for tennis for four five years but then eventually we you know said belong to make a tennis tournaments cold revolution COP on so they've found the accent but every day every moment the could have the pasta which is the Jarmusch. She guard the guard. They would come any minute on say. Okay let's talk everything so we will be played tournaments on with really our heart beating like three hundred times in on though unrefinished. Tournament doubles unbased. Set The the prize money would be returned to get to you. So did I hear that. You said you're at the time. Go to Europe and she told you know no you go. That's absolutely true. Well I I got to on the ice. It was sad on attend. Tyron for us. Iranians like old Venue save in Iran. You're going to grow your business visit. His London is piracy is wrong is. Geneva is frank is Hamburg. You know nothing for me was like I said once again two hundred Jensen so they give me this to get on the Niger My girlfriend I said to her. You know if you want to go you can go on everything go bust through extending. Change your mind than everything. She took the to get into two days later. She came back. She says Have to find the way that's UGO on not to use to seek it. I have I have done all the research I know for. If the five hundred dollars dollars we can have you know Tehran. Two niece from niece. Who Paris Irish Jewish? So I said that is if you know I you go on issue instead then a county join you after this. You're trying to questions on star one in the tree years that it took for that tournament to come alive. Why did you not decide to go to Europe? Beforehand was a money Reason all the borders were closed. Even though you just leave like that. I hadn't by these. The I had the visa from nineteen seventy seven November to November nineteen eighty-one American visa for years multiple Injury on everything. But my first choice would be unethical but the Americans said no. You're not allowed to come to the states United States even though to have their valid resolve. Visas are old councils. Because they had the American embassy was taken hostage by Islamist students. So there was to hard diplomats. You know the guys who are working at the Embassy of America they were. They were hostage for one year. I don't know if you saw the movie argo is very good movie. Yeah I was intent on them. I was Devon left. Ben The Haagen. I will reading watching the news every day and so I couldn't go before otherwise when this tennis tournament took part in the border situation had changed that the waters were still close. I had the t cats but I couldn't go. You ought to hop avenue the reason that they could allow you to go so I was lucky I was renting there. I was lucky there was whose name was sudden or did this on. He was like the right are told the Khomeini knowing facility but I I had a very good friend of mine who was in this own promptest onto the university with this month. The new Foreign Minister Mr Became new fineness. That it on so I said to my friend whose name was resolved. I went up. You Guy your buddy is you know Foreign Minister maybe you can help beat to leave this country. I have to undying. Yeah I have to go. My job is to tennis and I I have to go. I cannot in this year I cannot survive and he said give me or gave again my plus work in two or three days time. I have the authorization to leave the country. I have these for fronts unforeseen incident. Okay I left great. You must have been so happy. Just can't add it there. I was really happy to leave at least try to off because it wasn't I left. It wasn't that easy. It was the beginning of my. You know sometime nothing to eat for days. Sometimes north receive for nights so I took my flight from Tehran. Six to cough an attempted. I was In landed in this south of affronts I had. I had a suitcase with some tennis. Close some closing on Mount v two rockets and I can do the nece airports. I could speak French so I'm speaking English people on Have on asking things. Nobody's even looking at me. You know I say I did I can get for. What am I going to do? I can one war even looking at me saliva into the you know the Therese Office you know you can ask you know For Hotel Permission. There was young lady To excuse me. I'm looking for a hotel. It was an eighth of August. Nineteen eighty that place is just. It's just so many people usually Niece or something like a hundred and fifty thousand people. Living there are two hundred dollars. The Dan decide the off to so so the Loft Iho August you think. I can't make Miracle That's nothing so I said came on after the airport at port. Dan for two years ago and he was very tiny was lucky Today is huge but then was lucky. Big House so I came out on Friday. I was on the palm. Not Song Lay on the beach yet on the you know I walk in cone. Not Design lead in the street. They're the big street which goes to this city and I see on my right. I see at the beach. All these women playing a beat. It's talk less. I you know Czestochowa everything out on on. Just pinching myself. I'm saying I might dreaming true many times. I cannot believe you know when you live in an atmosphere for three years three years you'll leave atmosphere of QC only Morelos evening in television talking about slum all the time you forget what GonNa what's happening. I knew I knew France that was one of the reason I and not to England. I knew I knew. I knew Germany's switched on this Bank of America so I came to France because that was the only country after America that I played tennis. Tournaments that are you can. You can be like five hundred euros to play on tournaments. I said that they can. At least I can play tennis even though it has not proficient hundred percent and based on money on survive. And see what's happening you know. So this is what happened. So I'm walking in this on. Not Designed now walking on our working Suits on and his larger forty degrees. I'm sweating lucky dog. On an unthinking why shall with I king yet on Carlton Fronts which is like catching hundred euros. This is all up eight hundred pounds something like that so now. Twelve thirty is about three hours later after some landed on Hungary just so I see one of those sending you the streets sandwiches and by streams and water side by gossip but lots of water on a Sunday each in this shirty something go so I one of these. The cost me like almost fifteen twenty francs like other. Naw Two pounds and I say to bounds too big for I have eight hundred you know. So how am I going to leave here because the hotel food and everything so I I'm really lost on thinking? Thousand Things and walking walking walking on one enough to is sits in one of those benches bitch are especially young niece. My boxer deceit and in front of me on cross the street. Icu Casino holder. Okay interesting so island and I say this is a sign for me because commits eight. Hundred dollars is nothing I can do. I can maybe stay if I go through the cheapest hotel if they will eat the cheapest food. I can't stay maybe ten days maybe twelve days twelve days. There's another way I can find a club who wants to give me a coach John or a club For who might come play the club matches because this is was this is what I was looking for so I sit intuitive trump. This time is not enough so the bathroom for me just to go to casino. Try to make it the fifty thousand francs and in this case I can make yesterday twenty months longer. I stay better. I have a chance to find the club but if I lose ten days or Mondays send similar. I decided to go to young entrusted. Twenty minutes later I come up because he no zero. Nothing left in my pocket. Hope you enjoyed part one of the Monster Grammy Interview. I think it's Amaz- and for him to have gone through what he had in the early days and come true at the other side really hope you found it inspiring and you learned a little bit more about Mansour. I'll be back next week with the second part of this interview. Mansoor reluctant fortunate. Hope you are too and don't forget check out. Our NEWEST FROM CAN'T FUNCTIONAL. Tennis podcast be creative follows and say quick by.