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Pakistan crowned Asian U12 tennis champions

November 27, 2021
Pakistan crowned Asian U12 tennis champions

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan became the Asian 12 & Under boys champions beating the continent’s powerhouse Kazakhstan 2-1 to win the final in Nur Sultan Friday.

This is the first time Pakistan have attained the top position in the Asian juniors as the team defeated hosts Kazakhstan in a nail-biting final to wrest the honours.

Talented Hamza Roman continued his good work, putting Pakistan 1-0 up beating Traigel Rodion 6-2, 7-5. Kazakhstan came back strongly to take the second singles as Pshenichny Yaroslav overwhelmed Abubakar Talha 6-3, 6-1.

Pakistan won the first set of the doubles 6-4 as Hamza Roman and Abubakar Talha took full control of the proceedings at the onset. Pshenichny and Tagibekov fought back well playing exciting tennis to take the second on tie break 7-6 and then were leading 6-2 and then 9-6 in a super tie break before Hamza struck some sizzling cross-court shots to turn the table on the hosts, winning the super-tie break 12-10.

“I made all possible effort to stay in the match and succeeded in that. I know we can win it and I told my partner to stay cool,” Hamza said while talking to ‘The News’.

He added that following the victory against India, the team’s morale was sky-high.

“Though we lost to Kazakhstan in the pool stage, we knew well we have a chance against them in the final. We lost the pool match when we just arrived here but today we were well set to take the fight back to the host team.”

Khawar Hyat Khan, Executive Vice President Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF), attributed the success to the leadership of Salim Saifullah Khan.

“The PTF president makes sure that Pakistan are well represented at all level in Asia and around the world. Our coaches Asem Shafiq, Nomanul Haq have worked hard on Hamza who definitely is some talent. Hopefully, he would prove a big asset with time. Beating India where almost one million junior tennis players pursue the game is never an easy task. And even defeating Kazakhstan in their backyard required some extraordinary efforts. Thanks to Almighty Allah the boys have made the country and the PTF proud. Never before in the history, we have reached such a height at the Asian level,” he said.

Result final: Hamza Roman bt Traigel Rodion 6-2, 7-5; Pshenichny Yaroslav (Kazakhstan) bt Abubakar Talha 6-3 6-1; Hamza Roman & Abubakar Talha bt Pshenichny & Tagibekov (Kazakhstan) 6-4, 6-7, 12-10.