Understrength men tennis team along with women outfit off to Baku


ISLAMABAD, May 9 (APP): Pakistan’s men and women tennis teams
flew to Azerbaijan on Monday night to feature in the Islamic
Solidarity Games, scheduled to commence from May 12 at Baku.
“Our men team is understrength as it is leaving for the
important assignment without tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and the
US-based Abid Ali Akbar,” Secretary Pakistan Tennis Federation
Muhammad Khalid Rehmani, who is accompanying the squad as manager told APP before the departure.
He said Aisam had regretted as he was busy in preparations for
the French Open, while Abid Ali said he could not chip in the event
due to some personal engagements in the US.
Thus the men team reduced to three from five is now consisted
of Pakistan number one Aqeel Khan, Muhammad Abid Mushtaq and Muzamil Murtaza.
The women team is comprised of country’s top players – Ushna
Suhail, Sara Mansoor, Sarah Mahboob Khan and Meheq Khokher. Mahboob Khan is accompanying the squad as coach/captain.
It is for the first time that Pakistan women team will feature
in the Islamic Games. Pakistan men team last time appeared in the
Second Islamic Solidarity Games held in Saudi Arab in 2005 and
earned three gold and one bronze medals.
Rehmani said Pakistan’s both men and women teams would take
part in individual, doubles and team events in the Games. He said
Pakistan would face tough resistance from Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia
and Indonesia adding that Pakistan players were capable of producing
good results and he was expecting some good show from them.
“Both the men and women teams underwent three-week rigorous
training under the supervision of international coach Mahboob Khan
at PSB Tennis Courts, while Nasrullah Rana, an international
conditioning coach provided physical conditioning to the women team
members,” he added.