LAHORE - Pakistan’s future hope and top-ranked professional tennis player on ATP circuit Davis Cupper Samir Iftikhar won the titles in the US$30,000 Pacific North West and US$32,000 Washington State USTA Pro.
Samir, who is a neglected proven talent by previous government sports authorities, made the country proud once again with a clear message to newly-elected PM Imran Khan, by winning two back-to-back international titles.
Samir braved 128 men draws defeating seasoned ATP players. He defeated Alesendro Venture of Spain 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to clinch the USTA $32,000 Washington State Open title while for USTA $30,000 Pacific Northwest Championship title, he outlasted Carlos Donat Arujna of Spain 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Samir displayed high quality tennis and magnificent fight backs to upset seasoned number one seed Mitch Stewart of USA in the semifinals 0-6, 6-0, 6-1 and M Stefan Menichella 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Seasoned Stewart has recent wins over 2017 World ranked 423th and current 1021th Loots Maa from Netherlands and other far experienced professionals on ATP circuit.
The youngster from Pakistan, who due to negligence of NADRA for not renewing his card, missed opportunity to represent the country at Asian Games, where he had bright chances of winning medal for the country. Tayyab Iftikhar, who is dejected father and coach of Samir, said: “I intend to appeal to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar to help this professional player, who is keen to win laurels for Pakistan young at international level. With aging Aisam Qureshi and Aqeel Khan, Samir can provide best backup to the country and win glories for it.”