KARACHI: Pakistan tennis ace Aisamul Haq Qureshi’s partnership with Jean-Julien Rojer finally paid some dividend as the duo clinched the Estoril Open doubles event in Portugal yesterday.
Aisam and Rojer beat Julian Knowle of Australia and Spain’s David Marrero 7-5, 7-5 in the final with the win proving to be beneficial for the Pakistani in his bid to make it to the London Olympics. The win earned Aisam, who needs to be ranked in the top-10, 250 ranking points. He is now placed 13th with 4205 ranking points.
In the final that lasted one hour and 38 minutes, Aisam and Rojer were made to work hard but broke their fourth-seeded opponents’ serve thrice to take the first set. However, Knowle and Marrero led in the second set before Aisam and Rojer hit back to seal the result in their favour.
Aisam, who has been struggling with a knee injury, said that he is on the road to recovery and should attain full fitness in time for the French Open that starts on May 27.
“We’ve waited for this win for a while,” Aisam told The Express Tribune. “I’m glad that we were able to pull it off. This is definitely a good sign and it gets me a step closer to the Olympics.
“If I can get to the semi-finals at the French Open, I’ll make to the Olympics. But surely, this win sets the tone for the rest of the season.”
Aisam was particularly pleased after clinching the win with his Dutch partner. The Pakistani, who split up with regular doubles partner Rohan Bopanna of India, had struggled with Rojer in recent events with his individual doubles ranking going down to 14. However, Aisam said that the win has come at the ‘perfect time’.
“Consecutive defeats do play tricks on one’s mind, but I try to stay positive. That’s what I have been doing and now it’s getting me the results.”
Reports had surfaced that Aisam was looking to find a new partner. However, the tennis player dismissed the impression and added that he will play the Madrid Open, which starts today, and the following Rome Masters with Rojer.
“There will be a lot of trial and error before the French Open and I am just hoping that all the pieces fall into place. These two weeks are crucial for me and I hope we can repeat the same form in Madrid and Rome.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2012.