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our correspondent
Saturday, January 12, 2013
From Print Edition


KARACHI: The International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Friday announced team nominations for the Fed Cup 2013, in which Pakistan are to play matches from February 4-10 in Astana, Kazakhstan.


In the Asia/Oceania Zone Group-II, Pakistan team comprise Ushna Suhail, Saba Aziz, Sara Mansoor, Iman Qureshi, and Nosheen Ehtesham as non-playing captain.


The other teams of the group are Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.


According to the format of the cup, two pools of six teams will play matches on round-robin basis, and the winners of each pool will play-off against each other to determine which one team will advance to Asia/Oceania Zone Group I in 2014.


Most of the people in the tennis community do not expect any miracle from the team and believe that Pakistan will continue with its poor performance in the Cup.


It is to be noted that Pakistan are ranked 75 out of 94 nations playing the Fed Cup. “Only Iman Qureshi is a new face in the team which means Pakistan is not producing talented female tennis players,” said a source associated with the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF).


He was of the view that new players were not talented enough to do wonders at the international level, and this was the reason why the previous PTF administration did not send Pakistani team in the Fed Cup for a couple of years.


Sources said that Pakistan’s number one junior player Maheen Dada was invited for the trials held in Islamabad recently. “But she did not appear in the trials because of exams,” said the source.


Three players of the team have appeared in the Fed Cup for a number of years and their performance has been below par. For example, Saba Aziz has played seven ties and lost all, Ushna Suhail won seven matches and lost nine, and Sara Mansoor lost six matches and won only one. “We need to give chances to new players,” said the source.


Pakistan managed just a single win in the round-robin group, beating Singapore 2-1 in their second match last year. Pakistan lost in the seventh place play-off against Oman.