ISLAMABAD - Pakistan tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq has said that sterling start by Aqeel Khan helped him provide Pakistan 2-0 lead.

Talking to this scribe, Aisam said: “I was very nervous while playing Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II singles against Anosha Shahgholi, as I was feeling huge pressure, but the edge, Aqeel gave to the team by winning the first match, helped me feel relaxed after shady start.”

“As everybody knows, I am 36 and can’t afford to play long rallies and can’t have same fitness levels and stamina required for lengthy matches, so I just played aggressive game from the baseline and put extreme pressure on Anosha. The crowd and home courts also provided great help in the winning the crucial match.

“Aqeel and I got the results, which were required, and hopefully, now we will be able to win the doubles, which will give captain Rashid Malik room to try Abid Ali Akbar and M Abid in the reverse singles,” he added.

Aqeel said that despite committing so many mistakes, he recovered and managed to score victory.  Rubbishing the claims of critics, he said: “Beating Iran was not an easy task, so the critics must also give us due credit. We played excellent tennis throughout our long careers, and it is because of non-conduct of Davis Cup and other international matches, which cost us dearly, otherwise, we had beaten the likes of Thailand, New Zealand and other top tennis playing nations.”