Honours were shared Friday in the Pakistan-Kuwait Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II tie being played at the neutral venue of Colombo, Sri Lanka, as Pakistan's tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi gave Pakistan 1-0 lead but Aqeel Khan lost his match which helped Kuwait managed 1-1 draw.  Pakistan has bright chances of winning the doubles match today (Saturday) to restore their 2-1 lead. Aisam and Aqeel will take on Hassan/Dawood in the doubles match.

Talking to The Nation, Aqeel said: “Aisam started the proceedings for Pakistan in the first singles against Naseer-Al Obaidly well. Aisam, fresh from winning the ATP doubles title, continued his brilliant run as he played quality tennis to win the crucial match. Asiam wrapped up the first set by dropping just one game 6-1. He was in sublime form in the second set too as the superstar wasted very little time to take the set without dropping a single game 6-0.”

“Aisam was playing awesome tennis and it never looked like he was playing in the singles. He was not in a mood to let his opponent off the hook in the third set as well. Naseer did try to show some resistance and did manage to get two games from Aisam, but that was all he could get from the set, as Aisam then played well and won the third set 6-2, to give Pakistan 1-0 lead in the tie,” he added.  “I started the second game against M Ghareeb. It was a very close and tense battle in the first set, which Ghareeb managed to win 6-4. It was all Ghareeb in the second set, who didn’t allowed me any chance to settle down and took it 6-1. In the third set, Ghareeb played lovely tennis won it 6-2. I made too many errors in the entire match, which I usually didn't commit, but it was not my day. Credit goes to Ghareeb for playing wonderful flawless tennis and he was deserving winner.

“I should have played much better, which I failed to do, anyhow, we still have three matches and the most important of them is the today's doubles match. I am quite sure with Aisam in such rich form and playing flawless tennis, we will be able to win the doubles and give Pakistan 2-1 lead,” he added. “We know winning doubles doesn't mean, we wrap up the tie, but we have to win at least one more reverse singles, after committing too many mistakes in the first match. I will not sit back and will practice more and try to remove flaws in my game and overcome minor mistakes, which cost not only me but the country as well. Hopefully, my performance will be far better than the first match and I will be able to play sheet anchor role in helping Pakistan win the tie against strong Kuwaiti side,” Aqeel concluded.