KARACHI: Aisamul Haq Qureshi, Pakistan’s only player in the ATP circuit, has predicted a tough final tie against Chinese Taipei in Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group II in Turkey as he joined the national team after wrapping up his campaign at the US Open.
Pakistan and Chinese Taipei will be fighting for promotion to Asia-Oceania Zone Group I.
While Pakistan last played in the zone’s top group in 2006, Chinese Taipei were relegated last year. Veteran Aisam believes that beating Chinese Taipei on hardcourts will be a challenge. “It’s going to be a very tough tie,” Aisam told The Express Tribune. “They are the stronger side on paper and they play on hardcourts more than our team. Turkey is a good venue but the choice of surface is a tricky one, given that we are hosting the tie.”
He said that the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) should have opted for clay or grass courts. “There are clay courts and indoor courts in Turkey as well,” said the 35-year-old. “I’m surprised with the choice of surface here. They should’ve consulted the players before deciding that.”
Chinese Taipei lead Pakistan 6-3 at Davis Cup, with the two sides’ last meeting coming in 2006 in Taipei, when Pakistan lost 3-2.
The 2010 US Open men’s and mixed doubles finalist endured a second-round exit in New York earlier this month.
“I’m disappointed with the US Open this year, but I was struggling with the hard court as my doctor suggested me to stay away from it for a while [due to a knee injury],” said Aisam. “But I’m feeling better and have recovered. Now it’s about going all out for Pakistan at the Davis Cup.”
He added that he will be training with compatriots Aqeel Khan, Samir Iftikhar and Abid Ali Akbar in Turkey before the tie. “I’ve joined the squad as early as possible so that we can work out a plan,” said Aisam.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2015.