Tuesday December 05, 2023

ITF to help PTF build covered tennis court

August 28, 2023

ISLAMABAD: International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty has agreed to financially support Pakistan in constructing the first ever covered tennis court in the country.

The initial acceptance was given by the ITF president during a meeting with Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah Khan in London.

“The ITF president has agreed to help the PTF construct first ever indoor or covered tennis gymnasium in Pakistan. Chances are there that Aqeel Khan Centre Court in Islamabad will be converted into a covered court with the help of the ITF,” he said.

When asked as to what estimates the PTF was looking at to cover court No. 1 into a covered facility in the best possible way, Saifullah said that around Rs25 to Rs30 million would be required to complete the construction work.

“Hopefully, the ITF will bear maximum cost of construction with the PTF making arrangements for the rest of the amount,” he said.

Saifullah hoped that such a court would help in making the best use of facilities during the rainy season. “Usually during national and international events we lose the whole day without any play. At least such a court will help us continue the action.”

The PTF president also invited Haggerty to visit Pakistan at his convenience, any time next year. “The ITF president has accepted the PTF president’s invitation to visit Pakistan at his convenient time next year. We hope that he will be taking a visit to Pakistan anytime next year. Hopefully, he goes on to get re-elected as the president of the ITF in elections to be held next month.”

The ITF has stated that incumbent Haggerty and German Tennis Association (DTB) President von Arnim will battle it out for the top job after putting forward their candidatures.

The winner of the two-way contest is set to be declared following a vote at the ITF’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled to be held on September 24 in Cancun in Mexico.

Haggerty, who was first elected in 2015, is aiming to secure another four-year term following his re-election in 2019.

Four years ago, Haggerty emerged victorious from a four-way battle, beating India’s Anil Khanna, Ireland’s Dave Miley and the Czech Republic’s Ivo Kaderka to extend his stay at the helm of affairs.

Saifullah during his meeting with the ITF president also presented him with his (Salim Saifullah Khan) autobiography which was published recently.

The two discussed the efforts taken by the PTF to improve the overall standard of the game in Pakistan and in South Asia.

“The PTF president briefed Haggerty on recent steps taken by the PTF to promote tennis in Pakistan. Also came under discussion was a recent visa issue that surfaced during a Pakistan under-14 team visit abroad where the two best players were denied visas to compete in a world event.”

The PTF president is expected to be back home in time for the Davis Cup tie against Indonesia to be held at the Sports Complex courts on September 16-17.

“The tie is very important from the Pakistan perspective as winning would help us gain the required momentum for the coming ties and to stay at the top of the leading teams in the world.”