KARACHI: Tennis ace Aisamul Haq Qureshi believes that playing the Davis Cup tie at home will boost the team’s confidence and could possibly open up a path towards promotion to Group I.
Pakistan have not played their Davis Cup ties at home for the last 12 years with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) labelling Pakistan unsafe due to the ongoing security situation of the country.
However on Tuesday, the ITF gave permission to the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) to hold their Group II tie against Iran at home and Aisam is delighted with the development.
Return of Davis Cup tennis tie
“I’m super excited that we’ll finally be playing at home,” Aisam told The Express Tribune. “It is great that the ITF has decided to let us play at home; I believe getting our hosting rights will help us in getting back into Group I. I definitely missed playing in Pakistan; it’s been 12 long years.”
Aisam added that Iran will be a challenge in Asia-Oceania Group II as they have no idea at the moment about the players from Iran, however the team leads the head-to-head record 2-1 and the only time Iran won against Pakistan was in 1997 in Islamabad.
“We’ve won against Iran, but the last time they played in Pakistan they won, I remember it because I didn’t play that tie, but I was watching it. The home advantage, however, will definitely help us, it is a win-win for us,” said Aisam.
12-year wait: Davis Cup finally coming to Pakistan
He further added that he is hoping for Pakistanis to turn up to see the tie in Islamabad. “I hope people will show up and see us play; it is a huge feat for us to be playing Davis Cup on our courts again,” said Aisam.
‘Hoping to maintain unbeaten record’
Asiam revealed that he, along with Aqeel Khan, will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in doubles events at home.
“We are the best doubles team; a record of being undefeated at home is something we want to extend,” said Aisam.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2016.
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