Samir goes down fighting in ITF Futures quarters

Islamabad – Pakistan Davis Cup player Smair Iftikhar went down gallantly 4-6, 4-6 to former world No 65 and grand slam player Pera Riba of Spain in the Serena Hotels ITF Futures Tennis Tournament 2017 quarterfinals here on Thursday.

The first set started out with long base-line rallies and both players held there serves till 3 games each. Samir’s serve was then broken at 3-4 and he was down 3-5, but he displayed magnificent tennis and broke Pera Riba with a brilliant backend passing shorts and had the chance to level 5-game each but Riba displayed some great serves returns and broke Samir to win the first set 6-4.

The second set started with the same note and Samir broke Riba in the 7th game to lead 4-3 and where he was broken after failing to capture three game points to lead 5-3. Riba held his serves to lead 5-4 and broke Samir after saving 2 game points in favour of Samir to win the set 6-4.

Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) president Salim Saifullah Khan and patron Dilawar Abbas were also present on the occasion and highly praised the youngster’s game and hoped that he would further bring laurels to Pakistan in the next two ITF Futures Championships to be staring from December 11 by reaching at top levels.

Top seed Ivan Nedelko cruised into the semifinal by beating his Austrian counterpart beat Peter Goldsteiner 6-2, 6-1 while Russian Kristian Lozan struggled hard to defeat Alexander Lebedyn of Ukraine 7-5, 6-3 and Shalva Dzhanashia of Russia outpaced Spain’s David Perez 6-2, 6-3.

Pakistan No 1 Aqeel Khan pairing with Shahzad Khan displayed class and composure and held their nerves to make it to the doubles final. The Pakistani pair outclassed the top seed pair in straight sets 7-6 (10), 6-4to make the nation proud.


MEN’S SINGLES QUARTERFINALS: Ivan Nedelko (RUS) [1] beat Peter Goldsteiner (AUT) [7] 6-2, 6-1; Kristian Lozan (RUS) [3] beat Alexander Lebedyn (UKR) [8] 7-5, 6-3; Pere Riba (ESP) [4] beat Samir Iftikhar (PAK) 6-4 6-4; Shalva Dzhanashia (RUS) [5] David Perez (ESP) [2] 6-2, 6-3.

MEN’S DOUBLES SEMIFINALS: Aqeel Khan/Shahzad Khan (PAK) beat David Perez (ESP)/Kelsey Stevenson (CAN) [1] 7-6 (10), 6-4; Luka Pavlovic (FRA)/Pere Riba (ESP) beat Peter Goldsteiner (AUT)/Julian Onken (GER) [2] 7-6 (4), 6-3.

LADIES SINGLES ROUND 2: Ushna Sohail beat Nida Akram 6-1, 6-1; Mehwish Chishti beat Eesha Jawad 6-4, 6-1; Aleena Aftab beat Shimza Tahir 6-2, 6-1; Sara Mansoor beat Oreen Wazir 6-0, 6-0.

JUNIORS’ U-18 ROUND 2: Ilham Khan beat Saqib Umer [1] 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4); Nauman Aftab beat Zalan Khan 6-0, 6-0; Aman Atique beat Saad Abjad 6-2, 6-3; Hamza Bin Rehan beat Sami Zaib 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2; Ahmad Kamil beat Moosa Choudhry 5-7, 6-4, 6-4; M Shoaib beat Abdul Samad Areejo 6-1, 6-4; Sahibzada M Ali beat Zain Rohail 6-2, 6-1; Yousaf Khalil beat Haris Irfan ul Haq 6-4, 6-3.

BOYS’ U-14 ROUND 2: Sami Zaib beat Mahatir Muhammad 4-1, 4-2; Uzair Khan beat Zalan Khan 5-4 (5), 4-0; Abdul Samad Areejo beat Huzaima Abdur Rehman 4-1, 4-1; Nailan Abbas beat Kamran Khan 4-2, 4-1.

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