ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan’s lone international tennis star Aisam Ul Haq Qureshi has expressed his utter disappointment over not winning doubles gold medal with long time Davis Cup partner and best buddy Aqeel Khan in the South Asian Games.
Aisam while talking exclusively to The Nation from Guwati airport just before departing for France, said they had worked very hard for the SAG but it was quite unfortunate that luck didn’t favour them and they got tough draws as well. “We played well and could have win at least silver medal but we committed costly mistakes at crucial moments.”
He said it was a bit satisfactory that both me and Ushna didn’t return empty handed from SAG as they managed to win bronze medals in singles.
Commenting about his mixed doubles pairing with Ushna, Aisam said it was quite a nice experience. “Ushna is slowly but gradually reaching summit. She is very hardworking and determined to excel and win medals for country. As I had always emphasised that, I had always set personals goals aside, when it comes to representing country, I had always put Pakistan way ahead. I don’t need to clarify my stance to critics, who had no business, but to carry on with unwanted and totally uncalled for criticism. If I had not been thinking about Pakistan and not taking it seriously, why should I take a break from international tennis and that too at a time, when I badly need international ranking points to improve my fast declining rankings?” he questioned.
He said he was quite optimistic about future of Pakistan tennis. “Now I am focused on first French event and then the major task ahead of playing role in helping Pakistan beat China in the Davis Cup Group-I tie to be played next month in Sri Lanka.
“Although the conditions would not suit us, but at least Pakistan Tennis Federation manage to bring China out of their comfort zone. In case we had to play home tie at Chinese courts, we almost stand no chance in the tie. But now, matches would be much interesting and we are more capable of registering upset victories just like we did last year when we managed to beat top sides in Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II and that too at either neutral venues or at their own backyard.”
Aisam said the federation and government must step forward and announce benefits for tennis players and especially provide international exposure to players both male and females. “It makes no sense of sending players for only Davis Cup, Fed Cup or a major event after 4 years gap. The world is quite change now. We can’t think about competing against top players until and unless, federation invests on players, provided with international exposure. ITF Features and other events even in Sri Lanka, India or nearby places could make hell lot of difference for players. I had the opportunity of playing around the globe, but others simply don’t have these facilities not even Aqeel Khan. How on earth one could expect over the moon results under such circumstances? I hope and pray female players would also get same treatment and they would also provided with maximum international exposure, then desired results would start to come thick and fast,” Aisam concluded.