ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's longest serving number one tennis player Aqeel Khan will start Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II final proceedings against Chinese Taipei with singles match against Chinese Taipei number 2 player Jui Chen Hung today (Friday) at the neutral venue of Izmir, Turkey.
Pakistan chances of winning the final boosted with arrival of ace tennis player Aisamul Haq Qureshi, who missed the semifinals due to injury, but now he is fully fit and ready to lead Pakistan's charge as playing captain. As per expectations, the responsibility of drawing first blood for Pakistan rests heavily on the shoulders of Aqeel, while another young future prospect of the country Samir Iftikhar will be handed over the responsibility of playing the second and last singles match of the day against Jimmy Wang, but the most surprising and highly unexpected thing was witnessed in the doubles category, as Pakistan team management has opted to enter the doubles event with Aisam partnering Abid Ali Akbar, not the ever trusted and highly successful pairing of Aisam and Aqeel.
In the semifinal Pakistan had to suffer loss in the doubles because Aisam was not available and Aqeel was paired with Abid Akbar. Pakistan could have won the doubles, but lack of coordination deprived them of winning the doubles. Now the PTF is committing same mistake of not going with highly successful pair of Aqeel and Aisam. The pair of Aisam and Abid will take on Chieh Fu Wang and Cheng Yu Yu tomorrow (Saturday).
When this scribe contacted PTF secretary M Khalid Rehmani to seek his point of view regarding doubles pairing, he said: “We have devised strategy not to overuse players. We can change plan as according to rules, player can be withdrawn or changed even one hour before the start of the match. We will wait and see whether Aqeel carves out victory in three sets or a five-setter match and what will be his mental and physical condition after the match. If he will be fresh and able to play another tough match, we will replace him, if not then we will enter the match with same plan.”