ISLAMABAD  - Top seed Aqeel Khan had to dig really deep to overcome a spirited Jalil Khan in the men's singles final of the First Ch Rehmat Ali Memorial PTF National Ranking Tennis Championship, played here at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Tennis Complex on Saturday. M Mudassar annexed the boy's U-18 singles title by defeating determined Syed Nofil Kaleem Imam in three sets.
Aqeel started the first set on a high and break Jalil’s the very first serve. Aqeel was leading 4-0 in the first set before Jalil finally managed to hold onto his serve and then break Aqeel in the very next game to make it 3-4. But Aqeel was not in a mood to let his younger brother off the hook as he won the next two games in a row to take the first set 6-3 in 24 minutes.
The second set started in dramatic fashion as Jalil broke Aqeel in the first game. Aqeel immediately responded and won the second game before Jalil again break Aqeel in the third game and then at 15-40 down, he managed to take the game to make it 3-1. Jalil once again break Aqeel serve to make it 4-1. It was the turning point of the entire set when Jalil was 40-15 up but made two unforced errors and surrendered the game to Aqeel, who easily retained his serve. Jalil was serving for the set with 40-15 up and had two set points but on both occasions Jalil missed the golden chance as Aqeel leveled the set at 5-5. Aqeel took 6-5 lead and Jalil was almost down and out as he was 15-40 down but he managed to safe two match points and then took the game to force the set into tiebreak.
Aqeel, who was in severe shoulder pain and finding it really hard to serve, showed his class by hitting series of winners down the line and played some lovely backhand shots to win the set 7-6 (2) 45 minutes. The match lasted for 1 hour and 9 minutes. Aqeel won the cash prize of Rs35,000 along with winning shield whereas Jalil pocketed Rs20,000 as runners up.
Top seed Mudassar beat Nofil 2-1 for the U-18 title. Nofil won the first set 6-1 by hitting number of winners down the line by breaking 2nd, 4th and 6th game of Mudassar. Mudassar changed his strategy in the second set and started long rallies and won the second set in the same margin by breaking 1st, 3rd and 5th game of Nofil.
Mudassar was in full command in the final set and took the decider 6-3 to seal the title. The match lasted for one hour and 35 minutes. Mudassar got cash award of Rs10,000, while Nofil got Rs5,000 as runners up along with certificate and trophies. Aqeel & Jalil also won the men's doubles title by beating Shahzad Khan/Yasir Khan in straight sets 6-2 and 6-2 without any resistance. Aqeel/Jalil got Rs16,000 and Shahzad/Yasir pocketed Rs10,000 as runners up.
Barrister Zafarullah Khan, Federal Secretary Law & Justice graced the occasion as chief guest while Ch M Aslam son of Ch Rehmat Ali and Senator Syed Dilawar Abbas Patron PTF along with other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.