ISLAMABAD       -         Top seed Aqeel Khan survived a close scare in the men’s singles semifinals of the 5th Begum Kulsum Saifullah Khan Memorial National Ranking Tennis Tournament-2020 as he came from behind to beat M Abid 2-1 here at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Complex on Saturday.

In men’s singles first semifinal, Abid started the first set in great style and prevailed over Aqeel to win the set 6-3. Aqeel bounced back in style in the second set and took it 6-4 and then won the third set with same margin 6-4 to set final date with M Muzammil, who had beaten Aqeel in the 5th Shaheed Benazir Bhutto National Ranking Tennis Championship final last month. In the second semifinal, 18-year-old M Shoaib was finally halted by Pakistan No 2 Muzammil Murtaza, who beat the youngster in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. In men’s doubles semifinals, M Abid/Waqas Malik beat Mudassar Murtaza/M Shoaib 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 while Aqeel Khan/Muzammil Murtaza beat Ahmed Chudhary/Barkatullah 6-2, 6-4.

In the ladies singles semifinals, unseeded 16-year-old Mahin Aftab ousted former champion Sarah Mehboob 2-1 to grab yet another title, as she had already won the 5th Benazir Bhutto National Ranking Tennis title last month at Islamabad Tennis Complex. In the first set, Mahin played well against Sarah and took comfortable 4-1 lead but Sarah then utilized her wide experience to bounce back in style and won the set 7-6(4) on tiebreak. Mahin fought back well and won the second set 6-4 by breaking 4th game of Sarah and bagged the third set 6-4 to land the title.

In boys U-18 semifinals, M Shoaib beat Hamid Israr 6-2, 6-1 while Subhan Salik beat Hashish Kumar 6-4, 7-6(2). In boys U-14 singles semifinals, Bilal Asim beat Yahya Musa Luni 4-0, 4-1 while Haider Ali Rizwan of LGS Paragon Lahore beat Shahsawar Khan 2-4, 5-3, 4-1. In boys U-14 doubles semifinals, M Huzaifa/Hamid Israr beat Shahsawar/Yahya Musa 5-3, 4-2 while Ahmed Bilal/Bilal Asim beat Haider Ali Rizwan/Husnain Ali Rizwan 5-3, 4-2.

In boys/girls U-12 semifinals, Hamza Roman beat Ehtisham Hamayun 4-2, 4-1 while Husnain Ali Rizwan of LGS Paragon Lahore beat his brother Hamza Ali Rizwan 4-0, 4-1. In boys/girls U-10 semifinals, M Hassan Usman beat Hammad Shah 4-1, 4-2 while Hamza Ali Rizwan LGS Paragon beat Razik Sultan 4-1, 4-1. In seniors 45+ semifinals, Rashid Malik (ZTBL)/Hameed-ul-Haq beat Mubarak Shah/Col Altaf 6-2, 6-1 while Israr Gul/Irfanullah beat Salman Haider/Altaf Hussain 6-2, 6-1.