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Sports

April 5, 2018
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Pakistan hope Aisam and Aqeel will help them beat Uzbekistan in crucial Davis Cup tie

KARACHI: Pakistan tennis legend Saeed Hai has urged his players to show self-belief in their tough Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group-1 tie against Uzbekistan which gets underway in Islamabad from Friday.

“To win in any sport self belief is the most important quality,” Hai, one of the longest-serving Davis Cup captains of Pakistan, told ‘The News’ in an interview on Thursday.

“I know that Uzbekistan are a strong team but I am also confident that if our players show belief in their abilities then they can win this match,” added Hai, who is currently the chairman of the national selection committee.

Hai, who is the first Pakistani tennis player to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam through qualifying matches, advised the Pakistan team to go into the best-of-five encounter with a well-devised strategy.

“The second most important aspect for you is to have to a solid strategy and the guts to execute it on the court,” he said. “And perhaps more importantly you should have plan B if your strategy fails,” said Hai, who featured in the main draw of the Wimbledon Championships in 1955 and 1956, and reached the second round of French Open.

Hai, who also played in the US Open in 1964, stressed that Pakistan should go all out for a win against the formidable Uzbeks.

“You have to give it your best shot. Even when all hope is lost, you shouldn’t lose heart because a match is not lost till it’s lost. A team can win from a seemingly losing position if it has the guts to fight back,” commented Hai, who is also the Senior Vice President of the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF).

Pakistan will be relying on their seasoned duo of Aisam-ul-Haq and Aqeel Khan to help them beat Uzbekistan. A victory in the match will help Pakistan to qualify for World Group.

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