KARACHI - Pakistan's tennis ace Aisamul Haq who reached the pinnacle of his career by reaching the men’s doubles final of US open couple of years ago believes Pakistani players could attain good standards if they had ample opportunities to get exposure at international level where they could play against superior players.
Speaking at the Meet the Press of Karachi Press Club here on Monday, lanky tennis star who always wears a friendly smile and has rich tennis pedigree said Pakistani players had the burning desire to excel but unless they were exposed to international tennis their growth would remain stunted and their talent would wither away with the passage of time.
Aismaul Haq who had played at domestic circuit for many years without taking names said a number of players who had played with him could have earned good reputation but they could not rise only because they did not get international exposure. Pakistani players get that exposure once each year when they play in Davis Cup but that was enough. A player has to play abroad where he could learn quicker and polish and improve his skills.
Aisamul Haq could rightly boast of good tennis linage like the Rahim Family which like Aisamul Haq hail from Lahore. Aisam’s maternal grandfather Khawaja Iftekhar was a reputed all India tennis champion and his mother Noushaeen Ehtesham won national ladies title a number of times.
Pakistan Tennis Federation being body having the mandate to promote the sport in the country should take steps in the right direction. But PTF did not have needed funds to sponsor players.
He said he had been lucky that his family had supported him but not all the promising tennis players could have that opportunity and it was here that PTF and other sponsors should step in give help, he added.
He said multinationals could play important role in the field of sponsorship. It was encouraging to see that some banks and multinationals were interested in the promotion of sports. It augurs well for Pakistan tennis, he said. Responding to a number of queries about his partnership and his plans to organize Pakistan India tennis across Wagah Border post. He hoped that his partnership with Bopanna would be revived in a year or two. He said his doubles partnership was suspended because Bopanna was interested in trying to qualify for London Olympics. He said he was also hopeful to clinch a berth in double event of Olympics.
Aisam who recently played in Australian open mixed double disclosed that Bopanna had donated his kit which would be soon auctioned to raise money for flood victims.