KARACHI Pakistans leading women tennis star Sara Mahboob praised Subh-e-Nau for making efforts to promote ladies tennis in the country and offering the highest prize purse to the winner of HBL-sponsored Subh-e-Nau National Ladies Championships which is in full swing here at the Modern Club. Talking to TheNation here Thursday at Modern Club where Rs 200,000 prize carrying championships is in progress, Sara Mahboob said she made her tennis debut in an event organised by Subh-e-Nau (SN) many years ago in Islamabad and since then she had seen the SN constantly trying to promote ladies tennis. Sara said who would have thought that a day would come in ladies tennis in the country where the winner could get Rs 70,000 in prize money but the SN had made it possible only because its chairperson Shahida Farooq had always tried to convince the sponsors to offer good money to ladies in tennis. She asked other tennis associations and sponsors to follow the example set by Subh-e-Nau over the years. She said she had always felt that the prize money for mens and ladies event should be same instead of ladies getting lower amount as compared to men. She said she did not like men treated as superior in the field of sports. Both men and women work equally hard in tennis so the prize money should be the same. She disclosed that she had won a number of titles during her brief career and remembered that the prizes she won were not big but ordinary amounts. She hoped that other organisers will also offer the prizes as given by the SN. She expressed her surprise at the absence of players from the city. She said she was expecting a big number of local entries but to her surprise there were only a few. She said without strong support of local tennis organizers, ladies tennis could not be promoted. In the meantime, all top seeds moved smoothly to the semi-finals stage on the second day of the Championship. The organisers were delighted when they received entries for the U-17 event, and they did not lose any chance at organising the event, which had not been held for the last two years. Mehek Khokhar and Maheen Dada were nominated as seeds 1 and 2 according to their national ranking, in a draw of eight. The days action started with Saba Aziz beating Shahida Kauser Farooq in straight sets. As the day progressed more players turned up, which made the U-17 draw possible. The U-17 event started with Mehek Khokhar and Maheen Dada on opposite ends of the draw, beating their opponents, while Aqeela Naz and Madeeha Manzoor also progressed to the semi finals stage. Surprisingly Sindh number one Eeman Malik did not turn up after confirming her entry. Among the unseeded local players, Sana Gulzaman gave a tough time to Aqeela Naz stretching her out for a tie breaker in the first set, before conceding the match at 6-4 to her in the second. Semi-finals will be played tomorrow. Ladies Singles Semifinals will be at 10.30 am, Girls U-'17 Semifinals at 12.30 pm, and Ladies doubles final will be played at 3.00 pm. Ladies singles: Pre Quarter Final Sara Mahboob beat Sarna Gulzaman 6-0/6-0 Quarter-finals Sara Mahboob beat Sehar Khawaja 6-1/6-1. Mehak Khokar W/O Uzma Ansari. Sara Mansoor beat Maheen Dada 6-0/6-1. Saba Aziz beat Shahida Farooq 6-0/6-0 Ladies' doubles Semi-finals Sara Mahboob/Sara Mansoor Beat Hina Siddiqui/Saima Batool 6-0/6-1. Saba Aziz/Mehek Khokhar beat Sara Ahmed/Shahida Farooq 6-0, 6-0. Girls U-17 Quarter-finals Mehek Khokhar beat Urooj Iltifat 6-0, 6-1. Aqeela Naz beat Sana Gulzaman 7-6, 6-4. Madiha Manzoor beat Ishrat Batool 6-4, 6-3. Maheen Dada beat Asma Liaquat 6-0, 6-0.