French Open: Olympics heartbreak for Aisam

Pakistani’s dream shattered after semi-final loss


June 07, 2012

PARIS: Pakistan tennis ace Aisamul Haq Qureshi saw his dream of representing the country at this year’s London Olympics shattered after a semi-final loss in the men’s doubles event of the French Open.

Aisam and his doubles partner Jean-Julien Rojer went down to US second-seeds Mike and Bob Byran 6-3, 7-6.

Sharapova storms into final

In the women’s semi-final, Maria Sharapova enjoyed a double celebration as she reclaimed the world number-one tennis ranking after blowing away Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3 to reach her maiden French Open final.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be in my first final,” said Sharapova. “I have been in two semi-finals but it was always my dream of getting to the final stage.”

The Russian now stands one match away from fulfilling her dream of completing a career grand slam and will be favourite to become the newest member of the Roland Garros champions’ club when she takes on Italian outsider Sara Errani tomorrow.

Errani stuns Stosur

In the other semi-final, Italy’s Errani crushed the French Open hopes of Samantha Stosur of Australia, reaching her first Grand Slam final with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 win.

If she triumphs tomorrow she will be only the second Italian woman to win the French Open, two years after Francesca Schiavone’s breakthrough triumph and the first player ranked outside the world top 20 to win in Paris since 1976.

“I have no words, it’s incredible,” she said. “It was very windy and one side was easy and the other side more difficult. It’s an amazing feeling. I did not expect this and I can’t believe it.”

Errani knew she had to vary her shot-making to try and unsettle her stronger opponent and she did so with great effect in the game, drawing a rash of errors from the sixth seed that eventually cost her the match.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2012.

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