ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s top national junior tennis player Mahin Aftab continued her brilliant run in the ITF World Junior Tennis Championship 2017 as she outplayed British Eloise Saraty to qualify for the semifinals in Jordan on Wednesday.

Mahin staged one of the most remarkable comebacks against pre-tournament favourite Eloise Saraty 6-7(7) 6-1 1-0 (retired). Both the players displayed quality tennis as both managed to hold onto their respective serves and the first set was decided on tie break.

It was 6-5 in Saraty’s favour and Mahin, who was serving to stay in the set, made two double faults and when she felt she was losing the grip, she produced back-to-back aces to hold onto her serves to make it 6-6. Saraty again took 6-3 lead and had three set points, but Mahin closed the gap and made it 6-6, then it was 8-8, but at that stage, the Pakistani girl committed two blunders, which gifted the set 10-8 to Saraty.

It was all Mahin in the second set, who kept Saraty on the run, and simply blew her opponent away. Mahin’s fitness level and hard training back home proved dividend for her as she totally outclassed the British to take the second set 6-1. Mahin once again took 1-0 lead in the third and decisive set. But Saraty was unable to bear the after effects of heat, so she shook hands and conceded the set and match.

Talking to The Nation soon after winning the match, Mahin said: “I am glad with my performance and just two steps away from fulfilling my dream of lifting the title. I know the competition is getting tougher, but I am here with a mission, which I am hopeful of accomplishing soon. Everyone in Jordan is treating me like their daughter and I can’t believe the love and respect I am enjoying here. I will take on Turkish third seed Selin Lidya Sepken in the semifinals today (Thursday).”

Talking to The Nation young Mahin, termed the victory was made possible due to sheer hard work and prayers of entire nation, as I was expecting tough contest from Saraty, who was one of the favourites to lift the title, she had the reputation of having highly powerful serve at her disposal and also known for keeping opponents on the run to all corners of the court.”