ISLAMABAD           -                 Former Pakistan No 1 ladies tennis su­per star Sarah Mehboob Khan annexed the 5th Serena Hotels National Ranking Tennis Championship ladies singles title after beating Pakistan No 1 Sara Man­soor 2-1 in the epic final played here at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Tennis Com­plex on Saturday.

Aqeel Khan will take on Muzam­mil Murtaza in the men’s singles final today (Sunday) after both registered contrasting victories in the semifinals played here Saturday. Aqeel will play for the pride and to save his number one status, while on the other hand, Muzammil will be feeling highly confi­dent as he had twice beaten the undis­puted king of Pakistan tennis in back-to-back finals.

In the ladies singles final, Sarah Meh­boob, who earlier eliminated Pakistan’s lone international star Ushna Suhail, settled down well in the first set as she was running like tigress to all corners of the court while her passing shots, serves and back-hand winners were a treat to watch for the massive crowd including PTF top management. Sarah broke the third serve of Sara to win the first set 6-3 in 32 minutes.

Sarah applied the same pressure in the second set, but Sara also fought back well as her back hand shots, down the line pinpoint returns and lobs were hit­ting the bulls eyes. Both the girls tried their level best to break each other’s serve, but both failed to break and the scored went to 6-all and the second set went into the tiebreak. Advantage was with Sarah , as she had very powerful serve at her disposal, but Sara was equal to the task and was returning powerful serves with same venom. Her aggres­sive game plan produce wonders for her as she managed to win set 7-6(7) in 55 minutes to force the final into third and deciding set.

Sara Mansoor looked nowhere in the third set and seemed completely hap­less while Sarah produced was toy­ing with her opponent as her passing shots, down the line winners, back­hand shots and cracking pace serves helped her break the second and fourth serves of Sara to grab third set 6-2 in 27 minutes to add yet another national title in her already decorated cap. In the men’s singles first semifi­nal, second seed Muzammil Murtaza routed Ahmed Ch 2-0. Muzammil won the first set 6-1 while faced some re­sistance before winning the second set 6-4 to reach the final, where he will meet Aqeel Khan, who had to struggle hard to beat seasoned campaigner Heera Ashiq 6-4, 6-4. The men’s singles final will be played today (Sunday) at 2:00pm followed by prize distribution ceremony.

In the boys U-18, top seed M Shoaib thrashed Mahatir Muhammad 6-2, 6-3 in the first semifinal while in the second semifinal, Zalan Khan edged out Hasheesh Kumar 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. In boys U-14 singles semifinals, Bilal Asim beat Hussnain Ali Rizwan 5-3, 4-0 while Ahmed Nael beat Haider Ali Rizwan 4-2, 4-2. In boys U-14 doubles semifinals, M Huzaifa Khan/Hamid Is­rar beat Asad Zaman/Hamza Asim 4-1, 4-1 while Haider Ali Rizwan/Hussnain Ali Rizwan (LGS Paragon) beat Ahmed Nael/Bilal Asim 3-5, 4-2, 10-5. In U-12 boys & girls singles semifinals, Huss­nain Ali Rizwan beat Haniya Minhas 4-0, 4-0, Hamza Roman beat Ahtesham Hamyun 4-1, 4-1 while in U-10 boys & girls singles semifinals, Haniya Minhas beat Raziq Sultan 4-0