LAHORE                  -                 The first round matches were played in the Rafum Punjab Junior Tennis Championship 2020 here at the Punjab Tennis Academy, Bagh-e-Jinnah on Thursday.

In the U-12 first round matches, Ismail Aftab had to struggle hard to beat Abdullah Sajjad 8-6. The second match proved to be a one-sided affair as Raja Mustafa played tremendous tennis against Jannat Khalil and overwhelmed his opponent 8-1. In U-14 first round match, Waleed played well against Zaeem Ghafoor and defeated him 8-4. Harris Bajwa was in sublime form against Essa Bilal and outpaced him 8-4. In U-18 first matches, Faizan Fayyaz outperformed Shahzaib Zahid 8-3 while Abdul Hanan Khan defeated Inam Arif 8-4. In U-10 first round match, young tennis star and promising talent Haniya Minhas played superb tennis against Inam Bari and outclassed him 8-0.

Earlier, PLTA Secretary Rashid Malik (Tamgha-e-Imtiaz) inaugurated the championship as chief guest. Malik thanked Rafum Group CEO Zahid Hussain for sponsoring the event. “Rafum Group is taking keen interest in promotion of tennis especially at junior level and this event is being conducted quarterly by the sponsors to further uplift of the game among juniors.”

Malik said like previous two years, where the services of PLTA for tennis promotion and conducting record number of events throughout the year were acknowledged by Pakistan Tennis Federation, this year too, they are keen to hold record number of events. “The entire February, March and April are almost full of tennis activities, where the youngsters will remain busy in in exhibiting their prowess during these months while after that, the PLTA will focus on JTI summer camps and also line up more events for the players.

“There is a dire need to establish and promote sports nurseries throughout the country as it is the only viable solution to uplift the declining standard of sports. It is my request to Prime Minister Imran Khan, who himself is a sportsman, to focus on propping up sports nurseries, where the talent of the country will be trained and groomed and will be prepared to represent the country at international level and win glories for it globally,” Malik concluded.