ISLAMABAD       -          Mahin Aftab made huge upset by ousting top seed Sara Mansoor in straight sets in their semifinal of the 5th Shaheed Benazir Bhutto National Ranking Tennis Championship 2019 here at Islamabad Tennis Complex on Saturday.

While in the men’s singles semifinals, top seed Aqeel Khan hammered Heera Ashiq in straight sets and Muzammil Murtaza defeated Ahmed Chaudhary 2-1. The men’s doubles 45+ final was the best encounter of the day, in which Pakistan’s two most experienced and decorated Davis Cuppers Rashid Malik/Hameed-ul-Haq defeated Azeem Khan/Imran Ahmed in straight sets.

Mahin and Sara played their semifinal very passionately. The first set was started on a high tempo, as Sara was applying pressure and Mahin was restricting her calmly. Eventually, Mahin’s consistency and patience paid off, as she managed to take first set 6-4. Sara was applying to much pressure in the second set to stay in the match, while Mahin, who was playing simple tennis, never gave her any chance to dictate terms. Mahin then managed to break the eighth game of Sara and hold her serve to win the second set 6-4. With this victory, Mahin set up final date with former national champion Sarah Mehboob Khan, who defeated Noor Malik in straight sets. Sarah took the first set 6-0 without losing a single game before taking the second game 6-1.

Good tennis skills were showed by the participants in the men’s singles semifinals. However, it was Aqeel, who dominated in the first semifinal, as he thrashed Heera by winning the first set 6-2 and second set 6-4. Muzammil hammered Ahmed in straight sets in the second semifinal. Muzammil broke the 12th game of his opponent and won the first set 7-5. He then lost the second set 4-6 before winning the third set 6-1. Aqeel will face Muzammil in the final today (Sunday).

It was a treat to watch the awesome duo of Rashid Malik/Hameed-ul-Haq in the men’s doubles 45+ final, as the entire centre court was packed with tennis lovers. Rashid/Hameed outclassed Azeem Khan/Imran Ahmed in straight sets. Rashid/Hameed broke the third and fifth games of their opponents to win the first set 6-2 and broke the first and third game to grab the second set 6-3. Senator Taj Haider awarded shields to the participants. He also awarded Rs12000 to each winner and Rs6000 to each runner-up.

In boys’ U-18 semifinals, M Shoaib Khan defeated Subhan Bin Salik with the scores of 6-0 and 6-0 and Hasheesh Kumar beat Aqib Hayat 6-1, 4-6 and 6-3. In boys’ U-14 semifinals, Mutahir Muhammad thrashed Uzair Khan with the scores of 6-3 and 6-4 and Hamid Israr outperformed Huzaifa A Rehman 6-0 and 6-0. In boys/girls U-12 semifinals, Haider Ali Rizwan outclassed Asad Zaman with the scores of 4-0 and 4-0 and Hamza Roman defeated Husnain Ali Rizwan 4-2 and 4-2. In boys/girls U-10 pre-quarterfinals, Haniya Minhas beat Amir Mazari with the scores of 4-1 and 4-1 and Hamza Roman outplayed Hamza Ali Rizwan 4-1 and 4-0.

An event for special children was also organised during the day, where 25 players participated and performed different activities. They will vie for Senator Dilawar Abbas trophy today (Sunday) at 11:00am.