Pakistan to host four Asian Tennis Tour events this year

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will host four events of an exclusive Asian Tennis Tour (ATT) during the ongoing year with first two of these, taking place in April-May at Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Complex Islamabad and the next two in October-November also at the same venue, Vice President Asian Tennis Federation (ATF), Syed Dilawar Abbas said on Tuesday.

“It’s an open tennis ranking programme of Asia and there will be a total of 320 tournaments under it in a period of two years. The first of these events will be in India from April 18, while the next will be held in Pakistan,? Abbas, who is also chief patron PTF told media at the formal opening of ATF 14 and under Super Series Tennis Championships here at PTF Complex.

Abbas said that the ATF had launched ATT in an attempt to develop young tennis players throughout Asia. He said only Asian players would gain access into these events, adding “This will lead to wild cards in futures and challenger events.

Meanwhile, President PTF Salim Saifullah Khan has urged the International Tennis Federation to grant Pakistan more international tennis in all age categories. “It is surprising that we have been allowed to hold ATF 14 and under Super Series Tennis Championships but were not allowed to host our home Davis Cup tie against China,” he said while stressing that Pakistan was secure for all type of sports activities.

Pakistan lost their all-important Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group I tie against China 3-0 last week as tennis ace Aisamul Haq Qureshi and Pakistan number one Aqeel Khan failed to hold their opponents in the doubles rubber at the clay courts of Colombo. But Saifullah believed that Pakistan suffered defeat because it played its home tie away and that on clay courts.

“I,m sure we would have won the tie against China, had we been granted the right to hold the event at the grass courts in Lahore,” he reckoned.

He pointed out that the because of ITF embargo to hold international events in Pakistan, the federation was compelled to hold various international events abroad, which cost Pakistan heavily.