close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
April 6, 2018

Grand Slam duo Aisam, Istomin clash in opening singles: Pak-Uzbek Davis Cup tie begins today

Sports

April 6, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Davis Cup Asian Oceania Group I tie will have a star opening at the Pakistan Sports Complex Grass court Friday morning as two Grand Slam tennis players Aisamul Qureshi (Pakistan) and Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan) will be up against each other in the opening singles.

The second singles later in the day will see Pakistan No 1 Aqeel Khan playing Uzbek No 2 Sanjar Fayziev.Davis Cup tie referee Valerylutkov (Russia) who conducted draw ceremony Thursday in presence of Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) president Salim Saifullah Khan and Uzbek ambassador Furqat Sidikov picked visitors No 1 Istomin as the one starting proceedings against Pakistan No 2 Aisamul Haq.

He thanked the two international circuit players to become part of Davis Cup teams. “Indeed the two are well known players internationally and hardly get spare time from circuit commitments. Their presence in the Davis Cup tie shows their commitment for the game and for their respective country.”

Valerylutkov confirmed that 133 countries around the world were part of Davis Cup this season. “Davis Cup is one of the most prestigious events with around 133 countries becoming part it in 2018. Quality professional players feel pride in competing in Davis Cup.”

Though Pakistan international player Aisam has left playing singles internationally long time back, he always volunteered himself when it comes to playing in Davis Cup for Pakistan. Yet again he is ready to take on one of the top circuit players Istomin in the first singles. Only last year, the Uzbek stunned the then No 1 Novak Djokovic in Australia Open. “Davis Cup is very tricky event. It is not necessary that your ranking make you favourite. Playing for the country in home conditions always gives you edge. Aisam is a quality player and no one can take him easy while playing on grass in front of home crowd. What I need is a consistent game right from the word go,” Istomin said.

He praised Aisam as one of the quality players around. “He has all the experience and quality to put up his best efforts. I think consistent game will be the key to success.”Aisam also rated Istomin as one of the best around. “He has powerful and good game. I will try my best to give Pakistan a winning start. Obviously first single victory would be crucial.” The grass at the court where the tie would be played gives delicate look. The grass is too soft and fine which obviously not a good news for the local fans. There are all the chances that the court specially prepared for the tie would play slow because of the excellent balance grass.

In that scenario, there is all the probability that Pakistan players who are more interested in playing serve and volley game may find it hard to finish the point. In case of long rallies, obviously super fit Uzbek players would be having better chances. “My initial reaction is the same. The grass at the court where the tie would be played is too fine and delicate which does not suits serve and volley game. I think the court should have been let open a month back. It has not been used which makes the surface too smooth,” one of the Pakistan team players when questionedon the condition of court, said. Pakistan No 1 Aqeel Khan prayed for Aisam success in the first singles which would obviously give him big heart going into the second singles. “It is always good to go into early lead. By that way your confidence level always gets high.”

Aqeel however have the luxury of playing against a player (Sanjar Fayziev) who is ranked 378 in the world. Pakistan No 1 has already beaten much better and higher ranked players in the world on grass at home.

Since Davis Cup ties have been reduced to two-day event, doubles and reverse singles will also be played on second day Saturday, April 7.Aisam and Aqeel will be pitted against Sanjar Fayziev and Jurabek Karimov. The reverse singles on the same day would see Aqeel playing Istomin and Aisam taking on Fayziev.Non-playing captains have the option to make adjustments (changes) half an hour before the start of matches.