ISLAMABAD: International tennis activities returned to the country after a lapse of 11 years on Monday with the commencement of qualifying rounds of Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) 14 and Under Tennis Championships at Syed Dilawar Abbas PTF Tennis Complex.
“A total of 14 players, including three foreign players are featuring in boys’ events. While six Pakistani girls are featuring in girls’ events of these championships,” Muhammad Khalid Rehmani, secretary PTF told APP.
The ATF has allotted two back-to-back International 14 and under Asian ranking tennis Championships to Pakistan, being played at the clay courts of Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF).
Though only three foreign players ‘ Malaysia’s Wee Yi Shen, Sri Lanka’s Yanishkhe Cooray and British player of Pakistan-origin Said Muhammad arrived in the Capital to feature in these championships and no female player arrived, Rehmani believed that the successful holding of these two championships would open doors for other international tennis in all age categories.
“Because of ITF embargo to hold international events in Pakistan, we have been holding various international events, including Davis Cup and ITF Juniors 18 events abroad. In such circumstance I think these two championships are a significant milestone for the PTF at least.” he said.
“Successful holding of these championships will send out a strong message to the world and the international body that Pakistan is fully capable of hosting professional events,”he maintained.
The first leg is being organized by the PTF, while the second leg will be organized by Islamabad Tennis Association. ITF white badge umpires Arif Qureshi and Shehzad Akhter Alvi are the referees of first and second legs, respectively.
Pakistan’s Huzaifa Abdul Rehman and Hamza-bin-Rehan are first and second seeds, respectively. While among girls Zoha Asim and Rida Khan are first and second seeds, respectively as Hong Kong’s Angela Wingshan Sou, who was top seed and scheduled to arrive on Monday did not reach till filing of this report.
Another female player from Sri Lanka Senviratne Anika, who was to feature in the main round also, did not arrive.