Pakistan number one tennis player Aqeel Khan began his first official coaching stint at the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) camp in Karachi where he will train players aged 13 to 18.
Aqeel will be assisted by his younger brother and Pakistan number two Jalil Khan in the 10-day training camp where 13 players are taking part. He said that by the end of the camp, he wanted at least three or four players to participate in a national tournament that starts in Islamabad from September 12.
In order to bring diversity, and winning mentality, to the camp, Aqeel has invited Nadir Ali Khan, the 1974 Asian Games singles bronze-medallist and 1978 Asian Games team event silver-medallist, to the camp. Nadir had volunteered to coach for two sessions and was known to be a powerful serve-and-volley player.
"I think tennis has improved incredibly in Pakistan as we never had these opportunities when I started," Nadir told The Express Tribune. "I am very impressed by the juniors in the camp. They have the talent but my concern is the aptitude and whether they are ready to commit to the sport.
"I saw few kids hitting the ball beautifully at such an early age. Even I wasn't that good. I don't think tennis is declining in Pakistan but we need to keep up with the international requirements. I talked to the youngsters and tried to convince them that they have a great future ahead if they continue."
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.