ISLAMABAD - Whenever Pakistan tennis history will be written it cannot be completed without the contributions of Khan brothers. Aqeel Khan, Jaleel Khan and Yasir Khan are great servants of the country as they have raised Pakistani flag high in numerous international events and especially when it comes to play in Davis Cup ties.

Yasir, 23, is the youngest of them and is currently Pakistan No 2 just behind his elder brother Aqeel. Yasir is a regular member of Pakistan Davis Cup team for last four years. He has the honour of representing country against four different opponents in Davis Cup ties.

In an exclusive interview with TheNation on Tuesday, Yasir said: “I want to serve Pakistan just like my elder brothers Aqeel and Jalil did as I want to take one step ahead and try to win international tournaments and raise the country’s flag across the globe.”

Yasir, despite living under the shadows of elder brothers, still managed to win a national clay court title in 2011 in Islamabad beating his elder brother in the final which was his only victory against Aqeel. When asked why he prefers tennis to other sports, Yasir replied: “I watched my brothers playing tennis from my early childhood days and my father was also a well reputed tennis coach at Modern Club, Karachi so I took inspiration from them and started playing tennis.”

“Although Aqeel is by far the best of the lot, but still whenever we clash in a match, no matter a local event or ranking, we just consider each other as opponents. There was never any soft corner for each other and we play like true professionals but I must admit we are very fortunate that for the last couple of years, the three major positions were mostly shared by us,” he said.

“Tennis is not getting the treatment which it deserves as we are facing lot of difficulties especially as far as getting a suitable sponsor. If the players will be provided with reasonable sponsorships, it will not boost the morale of Pakistani players but also encourage them to beat any opponent at any given venue,” he asserted.

Yasir appealed to philanthropists to step forward and lend a helping hand to upcoming youngsters, as this is the time when they need financial backing and any major investment in players would almost guarantee laurels for the country in a short span of time.  He said that Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) should try to organise maximum ranking championships and also try to find sponsors for the players. “The federation should also try to arrange maximum international events for the players as it will provide them a chance to play against the world’s best and they will get the much-needed international exposure.”

He said tennis was a very expensive sport and it was almost impossible for them to bear such hefty expenses therefore, they needed sponsors who could lend a helping hand in meeting their both ends. “Multinational companies, banks, airlines and other private sectors must come forward and hire male and female bright players and provide them opportunities so that they can focus on playing tennis only rather than trying to find bread and butter for their families,” he concluded.