LAHORE-Pakistan future tennis hope Samir Iftikhar has raised his ranking to 300 notches to 1585 on professional circuit in the latest ranking released by the ATP.

Samir has recently earned distinction as only player after Aisam-ul-Haq to reach second round of ATP $25,000 in USA defeating experienced professionals. He had only 7 futures in his belt from past 2 years due to hardly any support by the PTF, government and multinationals.

Samir earned his first world ranking point in 2016 at ITF Futures in Turkey but lost it due to inability to compete and defend ranking point. With his own resources, he traveled to Egypt in Feb 2017 and re-earned world ranking points by qualifying for main draw and last March qualified in the $25,000 main draw and then reached the second round.

He is currently waiting desperately on pending appeal to Punjab CM for financial support from government which will help him compete on ATP circuit and come on top and bring further laurels to the country.

Former Davis Cupper Tayyab Iftikhar, who is father and coach of Samir, has appealed multinational companies for sponsorship and ZTBL chairman to induct him and provide job security to enable focus on his game without financial worries.

 

Pak team to feature in Australian C'ship

 ISLAMABAD (Agencies) - The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) will be sending under-18 team to participate in junior domestic championship in Australia.

PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmad Senior, who led Pakistan team to 1994 Men's Hockey World Cup victory, said national u-18 team would be flying to Australia on April 13 to participate in their championship. "This is the first time ever our team will be participating in an Australian domestic championship," he said.

He said this tour would help players learn the expertise of the game. "Coaching would also be provided to our players in Australia," he said. Shahbaz, nicknamed the Maradona of Hockey, said u-18 players would be staying in Australia for five long months. "This tour will polish our players and would improve their playing skills."

He said this tour would prove fruitful in improving players' physical fitness, basic skills and would help develop team chemistry and co-ordination among players," he said. “The PHF is working hard on the grass-roots level as Pakistan failed to qualify for 2016 Rio Olympics and 2014 Hockey World Cup,” he added.