Major heartbreak was in store for Aisamul Haq Qureshi a day before he launched his Wimbledon campaign as he missed out on a wild-card for the London Olympics – his aim since the turn of the year.
Aisam, who parted ways with Rohan Bopanna, missed out on automatic qualification after failing to feature in the top-10 by the cut-off date – the end oft he French Open where he and doubles partner Jean-Julien Rojer lost to the Bryan brothers in the semi-finals. Aisam then failed to get one of the eight ITF places that the governing body allotted, ending his chances to become the first Pakistani tennis player to feature in the global event.
Ironically, Aisam’s previous and current partners - Bopanna and Rojer – both made it to the Olympics for India and the Netherlands respectively. India will be represented by two teams: Leander Paes/Vishnu Vardhan and Mahesh Bhupathi/ Bopanna.
Aisam, currently 12th in the doubles ranking, successfully defended his Gerry Webber Open title after his French Open semi-final appearance. He had won the event with Bopanna last year and managed to repeat the feat with Rojer this time round.
PTF to appeal to ITF for reconsideration
Meanwhile, disappointed by the ITF’s decision, the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) will request the governing body to reconsider its decision.
“Aisam was the most deserving candidate,” PTF Secretary Mumtaz Yousuf told The Express Tribune. “We are shocked by the decision because Aisam should’ve been the first choice considering his current form. We were on-board with all the Asian officials for the wild-card and tried our best. We were given a lot of confidence about his inclusion. But after getting the official version of the ITF, we will ask them to reconsider their decision.”
Thirty-two teams will contest both the men’s and women’s doubles, with 24 direct acceptances and eight ITF Places in both events.
Direct acceptances were based on the combined world rankings of each team on June 11, with each player using the better of their singles and doubles world ranking. Any player ranked in the doubles Top 10 on June 11 was eligible for direct acceptance with a partner of any ranking.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2012.
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