KARACHI: The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) is looking to build a strong team before their first Asia/Oceania Group II Davis Cup fixture against Hong Kong next month and is willing to include an Australian player of Pakistan origin besides holding extensive trials.
The PTF is awaiting a response from Pakistan-born Australian player Rameez Junaid to represent the country for this year’s Davis Cup campaign who previously refused the offer few years back. But the PTF is hopeful of getting the 30-year old who is ranked under-300 now.
“We want to send a strong team for the Davis Cup assignment as we badly need a promotion this year,” PTF secretary Mumtaz Yusuf told The Express Tribune.
“We had constructive meetings with Rameez and this time we are hopeful of getting him for our Davis Cup team.”
Pakistan team which leapfrogged to World Group (Play-offs) in 2005 following an impressive performance maintained its place for three years in Group I. The side, however, has failed to make amends and is lying in Group II since 2009. Pakistan will face hosts Hong Kong from March 5 to 7 in their first fixture of this year.
Trials to start from Feb 6
The PTF would also hold trials to select the best available players of the country starting from February 6 in Islamabad.
All the affiliated units have been asked to send their best players for the trials from which top duo of Aisamul Haq and Aqeel Khan have been exempted. “Aisam and Aqeel are exempted from the trials due to their current performance on the national and international stage.”
Aisam, Aqeel want Rameez’s inclusion
Meanwhile, the seasoned duo of Aisam and Aqeel have welcomed PTF’s bid to include Rameez in Davis Cup team.
“He [Rameez] is playing well in international events and his inclusion will definitely benefit the Pakistan team,” said Aqeel.
Aisam, a former doubles partner of Rameez, said, “Rameez is an experienced player and his presence would boost our chances in the event.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2011.
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