Aqeel, Samir crash out of Begum Kulsum ITF Futures

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan top tennis players Aqeel Khan and Samir Iftikhar were beaten by their respective opponents in men’s singles second round of the US$15,000 Begum Kulsum ITF Futures Championship 2017 here at Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Complex on Thursday.

Spanish Pere Riba overcame a stiff challenge in first set from Pakistan’s Samir Iftikhar to reach last eight. Samir broke Riba in the opening game and was all set for 2-0 lead but failed to capture the opportunity and was broken back and both players fought a fierce baseline battle and held serves till three games each.

Samir broke Riba with a 20 point rally and brilliant passing shots to lead 4-3 and was broken back for four-game each. Riba held the serve and at 30-40, controversial ruling by umpire in favor of Riba cost Samir the first set 4-6. Disheartened Samir could not come back and Riba, using his vast international experience, took the second set 6-2. Samir, who wanted to beat his rival this time, couldn’t make his dream come true and now he has to wait for the Benazir Shaeed ITF Futures, starting from December 18 to 24, where, if he faces Pere Riba, to take sweet revenge.

Pakistan’s longest serving No 1 Aqeel Khan gave tough time to Russian Ivan Nedelko before going down fighting 6-2, 7-6(1). Aqeel couldn’t resist well high-flying Russian in the first set but in the second set, Aqeel showed his class and fought for each and every point. Even it was 6-6 and but the Russian played comparatively better tennis by utilizing his international experience and won the set 7-6(1).

In the other matches of the second round, Germany’s Julian Onken thrashed M Abid of Pakistan 6-0, 6-1, French Luka Pavlovic routed India’s Anurag Nenwani 6-4, 6-2, Russian Shalva Dzhanashiya thumped Indian Kunal Anand 6-4, 6-2, Austrian Peter Goldsteiner struggled hard to beat Dmitry Myagkov of Russia 7-5, 7-5, Spanish Enrique Lopez-Perez outpaced Turkish Ergi Kirkin 7-5, 6-3 and Kristian Kristian Lozan of Russia beat Kelsey Stevenson 5-7, 6-0, 6-0.

In the men’s doubles first round, Turk-Russian Ergi Kirkin/Nikolay Vyleghanin outclassed Pakistan’s Aman Attique/Yousaf Khalil 6-1, 6-0; India’s Anurag Nenwani/Jayesh Pungliya beat counterparts Paramveer Singh Bajwa/Ajay Pruthvi Nemkal 7-5, 7-5; India’s Kunal Anand/Jatin Dahiya beat Ukrainian pair of Gleb Alekseenko/Vadim Alekseenko 7-5, 1-6, 10-7; Russian duo of Shalva Dzhanashiya/Ivan Nedelko routed Pak-Canadian pair of Yasir Khan/Waqas Malik 6-2, 6-3 and Ukraine-Russia pair of Alexander Lebedyn/Anton Chekhov beat Pak-French duo of Muzammil Murtaza/Luka Pavlovic 5-7, 6-2, 10-8.

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