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April 14, 2017

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Pakistan in ITF Seniors Championships for the first time

KARACHI: Pakistan’s tennis team will participate for the first time in the 2017 ITF Seniors World Team Championships to be held in Miami, Florida, from October 29 to November 3.

The team members will be Hamid-ul-Haq, Rashid Malik, Mushaf Zia, and Islam-ul-Haq.

They will participate in 55 plus age category in both doubles and singles events.

“This will be for the first time that a team from Pakistan will participate in this world championship,” seasoned player Hamid-ul-Haq told this scribe. “This is a very tough event, yet we hope to do our best,” he added.

He said that they would then participate in the 2017 ITF Seniors World Individual Championships to be held in Miami from November 4–11. “We will play in both singles and doubles categories,” said Hamid.

Hamid, who played the ITF Seniors and Super-Seniors World Individual Championships in 2008 and 2007, said they would send their entries for both events in July in 55 plus age category.

“We have played individual world championships in past but this is for the very first time that we will participate in team championships,” said Hamid.

Rashid Malik played ITF Seniors World Individual Championships in 2006.

The ITF Young Seniors, Seniors, and Super-Seniors World Team Championships are the premier team events on the ITF Seniors Circuit.

The age categories are 35-45 for Young Seniors, 50-60 for Seniors, and 60-85 for Super-Seniors.

Many of the trophies are named after tennis greats such as Fred Perry, Maureen Connolly, Suzanne Lenglen and Margaret Court.

The structure of the tournament sees nations compete against each other in their age category on a round robin basis, followed by a knockout stage to decide the winners and final positions.

Nations can nominate teams of up to four players, and each tie consists of a best-of-three-rubbers format with two singles and a doubles.

South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, US and various venues around Europe and South America have all taken their turn to host the tournament.

The team events normally precede the individual events by one week at the same venue, so after representing their nation many players stay on to compete for individual honours.

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