Aqeel Khan underlined his status as Pakistan’s top-ranked player after a 6-1, 7-5 win over younger brother Yasir Khan in the final of the All Pakistan Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Tennis Ranking Championship in Peshawar yesterday.
Watched by a limited crowd due to strict security measures at the Garrison Club, Aqeel won the 154th title of his career, the first in Peshawar.
“I am very happy to have won this event as we all aim to win national championships,” Aqeel told The Express Tribune before adding that the tournament will help unearth talent for the national squad. “There’s a lot of talent here but there must be at least five top-level courts in K-P, and particularly in Peshawar, so that we this province can also produce top players.”
Meanwhile, Yasir rued his poor show in the opening set that all but sealed his loss as he had come into the final sure of winning the national title.
“My brother is very experienced on grass-courts so it was advantage Aqeel right from the start,” said Yasir who will take part in an Islamabad event from May 28 before heading for Spain next month.
Apart from the trophy, Aqeel went home Rs50,000 richer while Yasir, apart from the runners-up trophy, got Rs35,000.
It was also revealed that the government has approved a grant of Rs70m for a tennis coaching centre in Peshawar.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2012.