Aisamul Haq is not only battling a knee injury right now. His ranking has fallen from 10 to 14 and he is battling with time to get back into the top-10 by June 11 in order to be eligible for the Olympics.
Aisam and his doubles partner Jean-Julean Rojer crashed out in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters and at his next assignments – the Madrid Open and the Rome Masters – his aim is to win and improve his rankings.
Results have not really come his way since parting ways with Rohan Bopanna but Aisam has no intentions of switching partners once again.
“I am not really thinking along those lines as for me the priority is to get fit,” Aisam told The Express Tribune. “My knee had been troubling me. I had an injection given to me just five days ago. So now I am focusing on improving, I’m trying my best here. At the moment, Rojer’s rankings (number 36) is an issue as we’re still not confirmed starters in the Madrid tournament.”
Poor year so far
Aisam finished 2011 as world number eighth in the ATP doubles rankings which gave him hopes of representing Pakistan in the Olympics which features the top 10 players in the doubles competition. However, after parting ways with Bopanna, his pairing with the Dutch Rojer has not brought him much success.
“Rojer is a good player and I am going to stick with him. The question of switching doesn’t exist right now. I might consider it later but for now I don’t have any other name in mind. Similarly, I’ll be pairing with Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova in the mixed doubles.”
Not ruling out pairing with Sania
Meanwhile, following Sania Mirza’s refusal to pair up with Aisam given the success she is having with Mahesh Bhupathi, the Pakistani once again expressed his desire to have her as his mixed doubles partner but ruled out the possibility.
“Sania’s a good friend and yes I’d like to team up with her. We have this Pakistani connection now and it can be great for both countries. But since she’s doing well with Bhupathi, I’ m not in a position to ask her to team up with me.”
But for now, Aisam has two weeks to recuperate before the Rome Masters. His knee, which kept him out of Pakistan’s Davis Cup involvement, is doing better but his movement on the court remains hampered.
“I’m training, doing sprints and hoping that things fall into place. But for now, it’s all about getting an entry in the Rome Masters. If I can reach the final in either Rome or Madrid, I’ll be able to represent Pakistan in the Olympics.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2012.