ISLAMABAD - Pakistan women tennis team players are optimistic about their chances in the Asian Games tennis events as they have vowed to give their best to win medals for the country.

The women tennis players including playing captain Sara Mansoor, Ushna Suhail, Sarah Mahboob and Mehak Khokhar are under training in the 15-day camp established at PSB synthetic courts while Inam-ul-Haq is coaching both male and female teams.

Talking to The Nation, Ushna Suhail said: “The 15-day training is too short to prepare for the mega event like Asian Games, where the world’s elite players will be in action. Even then, we are training hard and hopeful of doing well against tough opponents. The camp will be over on August 16 and we will leave for Jakarta on the same night from Lahore while the tennis events will commence from August 18.

“Had Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) made arrangements for early departure of female team, it would have served much better, as first, we would have adjusted to the conditions and second, we would have started training and playing matches against other players as well. But it wasn’t in our hands.

“It is the second time that I am representing Pakistan in the Asian Games as earlier I participated in 2014 Asian Games in Korea. I will be playing in women’s doubles alongside Sara Mansoor, singles and mixed doubles with Abid as my partner. I know team like India, Chinese Taipei, China, Japan and others will be fully prepared and give us tough fight, but let me assure all that I will try to give more than 100 percent and try to win medals for my country,” she added. Ushna said although the competitions would be very tough, yet a lot depends on draws. If we get favourable draws in early round, we will have chances of moving ahead and may end up on podium in all the three categories. Former Davis Cupper Inamul Haq have worked very hard in the camp and we also played alongside male players, which will definitely help us doing well in the mega event.”

Sharing her views, ladies team playing captain Sara Mansoor has similar views regarding short-term camp, saying for at least mega international events, it must be months long so that the teams may prepare well like other international teams. “I would be playing in two categories, ladies doubles and singles, while Sarah Mehboob will be playing in mixed doubles alongside Muzammil Murtaza and fourth member Mehak Khokhar will represent the country in ladies doubles partnering with Sarah Mehboob.

“We have good chances of doing well, despite the fact that the opponents would be very tough. But I personally feel that we have worked very hard, while male players also helped us a lot as they not only played against us, but also guided us and helped us in getting over minor flaws in our techniques,” she added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Assistant Director Women Cell Shazia Ejaz also visited the ladies camp. She assured the women players of providing maximum facilities so that they may train well and earn laurels for the country. “I regularly visit training camps and inquire about players’ problems. It is our utmost efforts to provide the best facilities, accommodation and meal to the athletes, who play out their hearts to win laurels for the country at international level,” Shazia concluded.