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Unstoppable Aisam eyes more laurels for Pakistan

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LAHORE                   –                  International tennis player Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi has said that he is still eager to further serve Pakistan tennis and want to earn more laurels for the country.

In an interview with The Nation on Wednesday, Aisam, who along with Aqeel, played key role in Pakistan team’s Davis Cup victory against Slovenia, said: “First of all, we were very happy to hear about the arrival of Slovenia tennis team in Pakistan and also prepared very well for the tie and we were, as usual, underdogs against the European tennis powerhouse, which had the services of top-ranked international players.

“Although we started the tie on a low note but the way I and then Aqeel Khan made strong comebacks in the singles first and then in doubles, it was really remarkable and doubled our joy as we succeeded in upsetting Slovenia by 3-0. Those were really momentous moments for us, when the entire world was surprised with our stunning win over Slovenia. As I already mentioned many times that we always play more than our capability and for the honour of our homeland, which gave us name and fame across the globe. The spirit of patriotism also compels us to give out the best for our country and win more and more laurels for it,” he added.

Aisam, who also has won laurels in France and USA this year besides winning the Davis Cup against Slovenia, thanked his family, friends, Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) and media for the great support and hoped that with such support, he would continue to earn more glories for the country in upcoming events.

“The credit of our victory goes to the PTF as with the sincere efforts of its president Salim Saifullah Khan and his team, Pakistan succeeded in hosting Davis Cup ties one after another at home soil, which provided us home advantage and played key role in our triumphs. I hope the PTF chief would continue to serve Pakistan tennis in the same way, and not only facilitate the players in a better way but also try to convince the government to recognize our achievements for the country in a befitting manner.”

Lauding the services of longest serving national No 1 tennis player, Aqeel Khan, for the country, Aisam said that the government must recognize his services and should reward him with a handsome cash award. “Aqeel not only keeps the record of playing maximum number of Davis Cups for the country but pairing with me, he also played crucial role many times in winning the Davis Cup ties for Pakistan. He deserves to be recognized by the government at higher level, so that he may continue to serve the homeland in any given role.”

The tennis ace said that the current PTF is taking drastic steps for the promotion and development of the game and establishment of international-standard grass courts at Pakistan Sports Complex is a great step towards this mission. “Thanks to the PTF and staff, which prepared the grass courts well for the Davis Cup tie and especially during the time, when heavy rains disturbed the schedule, but the PTF staff kept the courts well-maintained and due to their hard work, the tie was conducted in a successful manner.”

Replying to a query about his future plans, Aisam said: “As a Pakistan No 1, I will continue to serve the country and will continue to represent it at international tournaments until I am fit and have will power to win more and more laurels for it. Aqeel and I are still fit and keen to serve the country more. While on the other hands, there is still a gap, as youngsters aren’t working so hard to replace us. They need to be passionate and hungry to excel at higher level and replace us in a decent way. Youngster Muzammil Murtaza has been improving his game and giving tough time to Aqeel, but still he is no match to Aqeel, and needs to put in extraordinary efforts to excel.”

To another query regarding tying the knot with Sana, the tennis star said: “Yes, it is new me and I am feeling really good for starting life with my new partner and hopefully, we will support each other through thick and thin. As far as international assignments are concerned, the tours are postponed due to coronovirus and it is my pray to Allah Almighty to save the mankind from this dangerous disease. I am working hard in the gym located at my home to keep me fit for the upcoming assignments.”

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