Pak tennis squad leaves for Davis Cup

A five-member Pakistan tennis squad flew to Seoul, South Korea on Friday for its Davis Cup Asia Oceania zone group two second round tie against that country slated from July 8 to 10.

The squad comprises country’s top-ranked Aqeel Khan, Yasir Khan and Samir Iftikhar. Veteran Davis Cupper Mohammad Khalid, who is also former Pakistan No. 1 accompanied the team as non-playing captain and Dr Awais Bin Inam as physician. While Aisam-ul-Haq, who is at present in London will directly fly to Korea and join the team on July, 3.

Last time Pakistan played against South Korea was in 2003 in Lahore and won the tie 3-2.

The President Pakistan Tennis Federation Kaleem Imam said the federation was sending the team a week prior to the competition for practice and familiarization with Korean conditions. “Although Koreans are a tough side, our boys have the potential and capability to beat them,” he told APP.

He said the services of an American-based Pakistani coach Jaleel Riaz,

who is also former Pakistan Davis Cupper were hired as Pakistan needed a good coach for an important tie. “It’s an important match for us. That is why we ensured the services of a quality coach.”

The PTF chief had already announced a lucrative cash incentive for Aisam and Aqeel if they return victorious in the tie.

Meanwhile, Jalil Riaz said that he had provided a tough training to boys at Pakistan Air Force’s synthetic hard courts in Islamabad during the 15-day camp and was optimistic that they would be successful. “I have tried hard to make them mentally strong also. I am sure they will give hundred per cent performance,” he said.