LAHORE - Tops seeds including Muhammad Abid and Heera Ashiq advanced to the quarterfinals of the Servaid Punjab Open Tennis Championship 2019 after defeating their respective opponents in the pre-quarterfinals played here at PLTA courts on Wednesday.

In the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals, Mohammad Abid played exceptionally well against Zaryab Pirzada and toppled him by 6-2, 6-2. Abid started well and put Zaryab under pressure right from the word go to take the first set by 6-2. He kept on putting pressure on his rival in the second set as well and won it by same margin of 6-2, thus registered an impressive victory and also booked berth in the quarterfinals.

In other pre-quarterfinals, Hassan Said was up against Mohammad Bilal and trounced him by 6-2, 6-0 while Omer Babar faced some resistance from Hammad Ahmad before beating him by 6-2, 6-3. Ahmad Babar didn’t allow Hassan Riaz play freely and won the match by 6-0, 6-1. Mian Bilal had to struggle hard against Imran Bhatti to win the encounter by 6-4, 6-3. In the last pre-quarterfinal match, experienced campaigner Heera Ashiq outclassed youngster Salman Ayaz by 6-0, 6-0.

In Under-18 first round, Shehryar Ahmed beat Arham Khan 8-4, Zain Chaudhry beat Hamza Khan 8-6, Ibrahim beat Abdullah Ahmed 8-3, Bilal beat Inaam Arif 8-0, Sherhan Salim beat Sameer Ahmed 8-4 and Farman Shakeel beat Ahmar Saeed 8-2. In Under-16 first round, Sameer Ahmed beat Zain Chaudhry 8-7, Inaam Arif beat Taimoor Ali 8-5, Ihtesham Arif beat Zaryab Khan 8-5, Azaan Sajid beat Hamza Saddique 8-3, Shaeel Tahir beat Bilal Asim 9-7 and Arham Khan beat Hamza Babar 8-6.

PLTA Secretary Rashid Malik has said that no upset was witnessed on the second of the prestigious tennis tournament of Punjab as a couple of good matches were highlight of the day. “In men’s singles, M Abid and Heera Ashif displayed high-quality tennis throughout their matches while in under-16 and under-18, some very exciting and enthralling matches were played by the youngsters.

“We have not only focusing the upcoming talent by providing opportunities to the kids with the inclusion of under-6 and under-8 categories, but also creating equal chances for the senior players, who are eager to excel in their respective categories. I hope next matches will be more challenging and action-packed while the finals will be thrilling ones,” Malik added.