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January 27, 2020

Aqeel lifts National Ranking Tennis title


January 27, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Playing quality tennis in front of packed PTF Complex crowd, Pakistan No 1 Aqeel Khan proved his supremacy as he breezed past Muzammil Murtaza in straight sets to win the Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Tournament men’s singles title Sunday.

Aqeel, who last week lost against the same player in straight sets, turned the tables on Muzammil with 6-3, 7-6(3) win. Contrary to the score, the final turned out to be a real thriller with both players seen playing high class tennis. Aqeel however managed his opponent well this time, forcing him to play the game of his liking, hardly offering any loopholes.

A baseline player Aqeel made Muzammil struggle for points, ensuring that Muzammil, who was almost 16-year youngster to him, could not dictate terms. Both players started breaking each other’s serves in the first set with Aqeel finally managing to hold his own to take decisive 5-3 lead and then converting it to first set win breaking Muzammil’s serve. The youngster was seen playing aggressive tennis at the outset of second set and raced to 3-0 lead at one stage. When it was all set for easy Muzammil’s win in the second, Aqeel geared up and took his game to new level with some breathtaking baseline game.

Muzammil started making one after another mistake and was even seen double faulting twice to drag the matter to tie-break which Aqeel won easily at 7-3.

“I was not in best of shape last week as my mind was back home. God has blessed me with a baby girl. This time I worked harder and knew well what mistakes I committed last week. I not only succeeded in overcoming these mistakes, I took my game to new level with Muzammil hardly finding any answers to that,” Aqeel said after winning yet another title.

Muzammil admitted that he was unable to play his best game. “I could not avail opportunities coming my way and at the same time could not play my best game. Aqeel on the other hand played brilliantly to win the title,” he said. Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah Khan was the guest of honour and distributed prizes among the winners. In his speech, he hailed Serena Hotels’ efforts to promote tennis and other sports. “Without sponsors you cannot even think of sports promotion. I am thankful to the hotel and all other sponsors who come forward to help sports in Pakistan. All over the world, sponsors play key role in sports promotion. I hope other would also follow Serena Hotels in supporting the cause,” he said.

Former member Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Executive Committee Syed Asif Ali and former Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera were also present on the occasion.

Results: Men’s singles final: Aqeel Khan bt Muzammil Murtaza 6-3, 7-6(4). Boys’ 18 and under singles final: Mohammad Shoaib bt Zalan Khan 6-3, 6-2.

Boys’ 14 and under singles final: Bilal Asim bt Ahmed Nail 6-4, 7-6(4).

Boys’ 14 and under doubles final: M Huzaifa Khan & Hamid Israr bt Haider Ali Rizwan & Hussnain Ali Rizwan 4-1, 4-1.

12 and under boys and girls singles final: Hussnain Ali Rizwan bt Hamza Roman 2-4, 4-2, 4-3.

10 and under boys & girls singles final: Hamza Ali Rizwan bt Haniya Minhas 5-4(2) 4-2.

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