LAHORE         -          Faizan Fayyaz, Ahtesham Humayun and Ashtifila Arif clinched two titles each in the 1st Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Tennis Championship 2020 after defeating their respective opponents in the finals played here at the state-of-the-art Tennis Stadium in Nishtar Park Sports Complex on Saturday.

Faizan Fayyaz also played tremendously and bagged two titles in boys U-18 and boys U-16. In boys U-18 final, Faizan beat Hassan Ali 6-3, 10-7 while in boys U-16, he beat Hassan Ali 6-2, 6-2. Ahtesham first won the boys U-14 title by beating Asad Zaman 0-4, 4-1, 10-8 after a hard-fought battle and then he bagged the boys/girls U-12 title, where his 11-year-old opponent Ameer Mazari went down fighting against his superior opponent 0-8.

Ashtifila Arif played well against Aqsa Akram and routed her 4-1, 4-0 to first win the girls U-14 title and then she secured his second title in the girls U-18 category by toppling Aqsa Akram 6-0, 6-2. 9-year-old Omer Jawad of Beaconhouse School Walton Campus displayed high-quality tennis skills against spirited Ismail Aftab and outperformed him 8-1 to win the boys/girls U-10 title.

The men’s singles title was won by Mian Bilal, who overcame spirited Imran Bhatti 7-5, 6-3 while Noor Malik of ZTBL beat Esha Jawad 6-0, 3-1 (rtd) to earn the ladies singles title while the boys U-18 doubles title went to Zain Ch/Ifham Rana, who had to struggle hard to beat Musa Haroon/Mohammad Ibrahim 0-4, 4-2, 10-8.

Eshal Sajjad, who remained top tennis player by winning record 17 gold medals last year in the U-6 category, started 2020 by winning the gold medal in boys/girls U-8 category. Eshal, who is a student of APS Garrison School, has vowed to not only break the previous year’s record but also keen to win more and more feats for her as well as for her school. Fajjar Fayyaz finished second to claim silver medal and Ahmad Asif was third and earned bronze medal. In boys/girls U-6 final, Eshan Bari grabbed gold medal, Mamoon Bari silver medal and Muhammad Ali bronze medal.

Director General Sports Punjab Adnan Arshad Aulakh graced the concluding ceremony as chief guest and distributed prize among the winners. PLTA Secretary Rashid Malik (Tamgha-e-Imtiaz), Director Sports Hafeez Bhatti, Deputy Director Shahid Nizami, Assistant Director Riaz Ahmed and a large number of young male and female tennis players and their families were also present on this occasion.

SBP DG Adnan Arshad Aulakh said that the young players exhibited excellent performances during the event, which will play an important role in further popularizing the game of tennis in the province. “It is the first event at state-of-the-art Nishtar Park Sports Complex Tennis Stadium but we will hold all matches of next tennis championship at this venue.

“We are going to launch a modern tennis academy for young players, where expert coaches will impart training to budding players under the able leadership of former Davis Cupper Rashid Malik. Five more practice pitches will also be prepared alongside tennis stadium. We will also invite tennis star Aisamul Haq Qureshi at our future tennis events. The construction work will start soon on five practice tennis pitches, which were announced recently by Punjab Sports Minister Rai Taimoor Bhatti,” he added.