KARACHI: Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) secretary Khalid Rehmani expressed his disappointment with the country’s tennis players — Aisamul Haq Qureshi, Aqeel Khan, Yasir Khan and Mohammad Abid — insisting that they ‘under-performed’ in the South Asian Games and could have done much better than the three bronze medals they collected.
“We should have bagged a couple of silver medals,” Rehmani told The Express Tribune. “The current result is extremely disappointing, especially considering the fact that I had pushed for tennis to be added as a sport in the Games because the organisers were initially contemplating dropping it altogether.”
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Rehmani further stated that luck had also played its part in the poor performance as Pakistan players were pitched against Indian players in the draws and Rehmani believes that had they been pitched against any other country’s players, they would have atleast claimed a couple of silver medals.
“Pakistanis had to face the Indian players in the initial stages of the event which was a major setback. Another issue was the absence of the team events,” added Rehmani.
The players will now look to make amends in the Davis Cup Group I Asia-Oceania clash against China. Pakistan would be fielding the same team as the Games and Rehmani is confident that the players will perform better.
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“Despite their performance in the Games we know what our players can do. They are better than this and I am confident that they will show that at the Davis Cup,” he further added.
Pakistan will be hosting the Davis Cup tie in Colombo after the International Tennis Federation rejected PTF’s proposal to hold the event in Pakistan due to security concerns. The team will leave for Colombo on February 26.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2016.
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