ISLAMABAD               -         Sarah Mahboob and Sara Mansoor annexed the ladies doubles title in the 33rd Federal Cup National Ranking Tennis Championship 2020, as they beat Meheq Khokar/Noor Malik (ZTBL) in straight sets in the final played here at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Complex.

Total 17 matches were played in the ladies doubles, men’s singles and doubles categories, where all the seeded players advanced to the second round. Israr Gul of Peshawar struggled hard to win his encounter against young Ahmed Asjad Qureshi in a three-set match. Hats off to the ground staff, as they prepared the courts well for the action-packed tennis activities.

It was much-anticipated ladies doubles final between Sarah/Sara and Mehaq/Noor. Mehaq has international exposure while ZTBL’s Noor has champions stuff in her blood, won lot of major titles and being dubbed as future of Pakisfsfstan tennis. Both Mehaq and Noor gave veteran pair of Sarah and Sara tough resistance in both sets. Although they lost the final yet they won the hearts and their progress caught many eyes.

The first set started with both pairs producing top class tennis but they were fully aware that they couldn’t prolong the final, as they had to leave for New Zealand to represent the country in Fed Cup, they were trying to take upper hand, but Mehq/Noor were determined not to go down without a tough fight. Sarah/Sara managed to break fifth game of Mehaq/Noor to take first set 6-3 in 33 minutes.

The second set was also played on a high note as Mehaq/Noor were giving their opponents tough time and were matching fire-with-fire and came very close to break the top seeds’ serves at number of occasions, but due to lack of experience, they failed to take advantage, which helped them break ninth serve of Mehaq/Noor and then held their serve to claim the second set 6-3 in 43 minutes, thus won the title.

In men’s singles first round, top seed Aqeel Kahn routed Ejaz Ahmed. Aqeel took the first set 6-2 by breaking second and fourth serves of Ejaz and then he went onto take the second set 6-2 by breaking the fourth and sixth games of Ejaz. In other men’s singles first round matches, 18-year-old Muhammad Shaoib thrashed Muhammad Abdullah 6-1, 6-0, Mudassar Murtaza trounced Jabbar Ali 6-0, 6-1; Ibrahim Omer thumped Ayyaz Khan 6-1, 6-1, M Abid routed Asad Siyyed 6-1, 6-2; Israr Gul beat Ahmad Asjad Qureshi 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4, Heera Ashiq toppled Mian Balil 6-1, 6-0, Kamran Khan beat Irfanullah Khan 6-4, 6-4, Muzammil Murtaza beat Subhan Bin Salik 6-2, 6-0, Huzaifa Abdul Rehman outpaced Emaduddin Ahmed 6-0, 6-1, Ahmed Ch w/o against Ahmed Kamil and Shahzad Khan defeated Shahid Afridi 6-3, 6-1.

In men’s doubles pro-set matches, Kamran Khan/M Abdullah got walk over against Subhan Bin Salik/Ayyaz Khan; Mian Bilal/Imran Bhatti beat Jibran-ul-Haq/Usman Ejaz 9-7; M Shaoib/Huzaifa A Rehman beat Shahid Afridi/Shakirullah 9-5 and Asadullah/Ejaz Ahmed got walk over against Ibrahim Omer/Ahmed Kamil.

Meanwhile, a four-member Pakistan women tennis team has left for New Zealand to feature in the Fed Cup scheduled to be held from February 1 to 10. “The team includes Ushna Sohail, Sara Mansoor, Sara Mahboob and Mahin Aftab,” said PTF Secretary Col (r) Gul Rahman.

He said the women’s team had played three events during the ongoing month and had worked hard in the tournaments. “Hopefully, the players will return to the country by performing well in the Fed Cup. “Eight nations will join hosts New Zealand in Wellington, including Guam, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Turkmenistan for the Fed Cup,” he said.