KARACHI: The London Olympics may be drawing closer by the day but Pakistan’s hopes of representation dims by the second.
Following disappointment in rowing, boxing and judo, Pakistan’s top-ranked tennis player Aqeel Khan has given up hope on the representing the country in London as Aisamul Haq Qureshi’s ATP ranking continues to fall.
After reaching a career-best rank of eight in the individual doubles category, Aisam has slumped to 14 and needs to get back in the top-10 by the June 1 cut-off to be eligible for participation at the Olympics. Aqeel needed a few ranking points to be eligible to partner Aisam if the latter does get back into the top-10.
However, Aqeel has now given up.
“It looks unlikely that I’ll be able to take part in the Olympics,” Aqeel told The Express Tribune. “With each defeat, Aisam’s chances are getting slimmer which is why I’ve given up hope. I needed International Tennis Federation points, for which I tried and am ready to go and play a couple of more tournaments.
But with Aisam’s knee injury and recent defeats, I don’t think we stand a chance.”
Meanwhile, Aqeel said that there was still an outside chance if Aisam reached the quarter-finals of the French Open, which start on May 21.
“He’s doing all he can. If he can improve in a month, we can still become the first Pakistanis to play tennis at the Olympics. But in all honesty it seems like an impossible task now.”
There was more bad news for Aisam who, partnering Jean-Julein Rojer, may not be able to feature in the Madrid Open due to the Dutch’s lowly rank of 34. While the duo waits for the draws, they start their Estroil Open campaign in Portugal today.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2012.
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