KARACHI: Searching for rankings points and precious practice ahead of the French Open, Aisamul Haq Qureshi will begin his Rome Masters campaign tomorrow with a new partner – Austria’s Alexander Peya – as Dutch man Jean-Julien Rojer opted to rest before the season’s second Grand Slam that starts on May 21.
Aisam and Rojer lost to India’s Mahesh Bhupati and Rohan Bopanna in the Madrid Open quarter-finals last week despite beating top-seeds Mike and Bob Bryan in the earlier round.
“Rojer has been on the circuit for 16 weeks now and he needed some rest,” Aisam told The Express Tribune. “I had already registered for the Rome Masters so I’m playing with Peya who has just split up with his Austrian partner Oliver Marach. I’m still hopeful of my campaign in Rome. It’s the best I could do in such a short time.”
Aisam and Rojer won the Estoril Open in Portugal last Sunday, the pair’s only title after playing together for almost five months. However, Aisam said that the Austrian players were very skilful and pairing up with Marach brought him the Thailand Open last year.
“Its all about trial and error right now. Rojer’s break came as sudden news but we still have a chance of playing together at the French Open. This event will be tough, having known that my ranking is also going down. I really need to improve.”
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles matches, South African Chanelle Scheepers beat Jarmila Groth of Australia 6-4, 7-6 while Vania King eased past Tsvetana Pironkova 6-0, 6-1. Serbian Ana Ivanovic beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-3 and German Julia Goerges got the better of Aleksandra Wozniak after a tough 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 win.
In the men’s draw, Gael Monfils beat Alex Bogomolov 6-4, 6-1, Bernard Tomic beat Santiago Giraldo 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 while Spain’s Fernando Verdasco won after Oleksandr Dolgopolov retired after losing the first set 6-0. (With additional input from AFP)
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2012.
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