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January 12, 2018

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Hameed to captain Pakistan in tie against South Korea

KARACHI: Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has made seasoned player Hameed-ul-Haq the captain of Pakistani team for the Davis Cup tie against South Korea in February.

Pakistan, who have the choice of ground, are to face South Korea in the first round to be held from February 2-3. The tie is to be held on grass courts in Islamabad. “I have been made the captain of the team. This is indeed a big responsibility,” said Hameed while talking to ‘The News’. “I would like to help my team win this,” he added.

He added that he received a call from the PTF high-ups telling him that he was selected as the non-playing captain of the team for the tie. About Pakistan’s chances in the tie, he said this time the Davis Cup tie would be of best-of-three format so Pakistan would try to make the most of it on the grass courts. “On paper, the Korean team is very strong but we have our own edges,” said Hameed.

He said that the Korean team included World No 71 and World No 170, which made them a very strong side. “But Pakistan will try their best to take the benefit of grass courts in Islamabad,” he said.

He further said that the team had been selected and the members were Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, Abid Ali Akbar, Aqeel Khan, and Muzammil Murtaza. “Mohammad Abid and Shehzad Khan excused from appearing in the trials,” said Hameed.

Therefore, he added, PTF selected Abid Ali Akbar and Muzammil Murtaza. “But practically it will be Aisam and Aqeel who will be playing the tie since it is best-of-three now,” said Hameed. South Korea have won five ties against Pakistan, who have managed only two wins. Pakistan won one tie on grass courts and one on outdoor surface.

South Korea defeated Pakistan 3-2 in Korea in EAS Semi-final in 1978; Pakistan defeated Korea 3-2 in Pakistan in EAS first round in 1979; Korea defeated Pakistan 3-2 in Korea in the EAS first round in 1980; Korea defeated Pakistan 4-1 in Pakistan in EAS quarter-finals on clay courts in 1985; Korea defeated Pakistan 4-1 in Korea in EAS Quarter-final in 1986; Pakistan defeated Korea 3-2 in Pakistan on grass courts in Group 1 Asia/Oceania final in 2003. In the last tie, in 2011, Korea defeated Pakistan 4-0 in Korea in Group-II Asia/Oceania semi-final.

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