KARACHI: Following a drought of 12 long years, tennis fans in Pakistan will finally get to see some Davis Cup action on their own turf as the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) yesterday received permission from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to stage their tie against Iran in Islamabad.
PTF Secretary Khalid Rehmani confirmed that the ITF has given its official approval for Pakistan to hold their Asia-Oceania Group II round one tie on February 3.
“It is a great news for us; something that we wanted to happen for a long time. Our players haven’t played a Davis Cup tie in Pakistan for the last 12 years,” Rehmani told The Express Tribune. “We got official confirmation from the ITF yesterday and we can’t be happier. This will also revive tennis in Pakistan in the long run.”
New Zealand lead Pakistan in Davis Cup tie
Due to Pakistan’s inability to hold ties because of security concerns, the players were deprived of the crucial home advantage and the PTF had to stage matches at neutral venues — the cost of which often reached Rs4 million.
The sport of tennis was also in an overall decline, something Rehmani feels could change now.
Davis Cup: Pakistan drop back to Group II
“We will be getting sponsorships too and this will increase interest in the sport. It will also save us a lot of money,” said Rehmani.
Pakistan will be playing as the top seed in Group II after their relegation from Group I in September, following their 5-0 defeat to New Zealand in Christchurch.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2016.
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