Aisam still dreaming of the Olympics

Pakistan tennis ace hopeful of wild-card entry after Halle success.


Natasha Raheel June 20, 2012

KARACHI:


Despite his failure to be ranked in the top-10, Pakistan’s Aisamul Haq Qureshi is confident that his triumph at the Gerry Weber Open will pave his way into this year’s London Olympics.


Aisam, whose loss in the French Open semi-final meant he was not guaranteed a place in the London event, is hoping that his recent form will convince the International Tennis Federation (ITF) committee to include his name among the eight available wild-card entrants.

With the help of the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF), Aisam was eyeing a history-making achievement for the country.

“I can’t do anything about the rankings now,” Aisam told The Express Tribune. “The ITF will decide and I need the PTF to put my case forward. My rankings are improving and I’m hoping that the ITF considers me and Aqeel Khan to play in the Olympics. Aisam, who is currently ranked 12 in the individual doubles ranking, is placed eighth in the world with partner Jean-Julien Rojer.

Meanwhile, according to ITF official Manuell Brocos, the body’s Olympics committee has four men’s and a same number of available slots for female players as wild-card entrants, the names of which will be announced today.

A country is supposed to nominate two players for the wild-card entry with the ITF Olympics Committee having discretion in picking the entrants based on geographical location as well. According to the ITF, the committee will consider entries until the 172 places allocated in the Olympics tennis event have been filled.

PTF Secretary Mumtaz Yousuf raised Aisam’s hopes, saying all the required documents have been filed in London. “We’re hopeful because Aisam has come a long way and Pakistan needs to be highlighted internationally,” said Yousuf.

Aisam, Rojer go down in quarters

Aisam and doubles partner Rojer crashed out of the Unicef Open yesterday. The pair went down in the quarter-finals to the German duo of Benjamin Becker and Philipp Petzschner 3-6, 6-3, 10-4.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2012.

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