ISLAMABAD - Pakistan No 1 tennis player Sarah Mahboob Khan carved out one of the most sensational and memorable victories of her long career, as she beat Pakistan No 1 female tennis player Sara Mansoor in a thrilling final in straight sets to clinch the 5th Syed Tajammul Abbas Memorial National Ranking Tennis Championship 2015 title.

The marathon final which was played here at Senator Dilawar Abbas PTF Tennis Complex on Friday and lasted more than three hours, hats off to Sarah, who despite 1-5 down in the second set, staged memorable comeback to not only stun the crowd but also her opponent. It was highly sensation final which was witnessed by PTF president Salim Saifullah Khan and others. Sarah also took sweat revenge of her loss against same opponent in the Federal Cup final.

Sara was fighting to save her number 1 ranking, while Sarah wanted to prove that she still got what it takes to remain at the top, as she just returned from US after completing her studies and playing for university in highly competitive tennis events and led her university from the front and was involved in helping her university carving out major victories.

The match started on a positive note for Sarah as she broke Sara's serve in the very first game but then Sara broke Sarah’s serve to make it 2-2. Both players managed to hold onto to their respective serves to take the score to 5-5, before Sarah managed to hold onto her serve and then broke Sara's serve to take the first set 7-5 in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The real drama started in the second set, as Sara was enjoying commanding lead by breaking Sarah’s serve twice and was leading 5-1 and 40-0 up serving for the set, when Sarah managed to make it 40-40 then took the game. It was really unbelievable tennis shown by former 7-time national champion Sarah, who won next four games in a row. Sarah controlled her unforced errors and leveled the score 5-5, broke Sara’s 11th game to take 6-5 lead and then hold on to her serve to win the set 7-5, thus registered one of the most memorable victories of her illustrious career.

Talking to The Nation soon after the final, Sarah Mahboob said that she was happy with the level of tennis she displayed and particularly thrilled by being able to stay patient and focused in the second set to mastermind sensational comeback. She praised Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) for their interest in tennis in Pakistan and requested them to extend financial support to other players as well just like they did to Ushna Suhail, Aleena and Mahin Aftab. “If FFC steps forward and extends cooperation with me, I can play major role in helping Pakistan achieve new goals in international events like Fed Cup.” She also praised PTF chief’s tireless efforts for the promotion of tennis in Pakistan.

Sarah Mahboob was awarded cash prize of Rs 25,000 along with winning trophy, while Sara Mansoor pocketed Rs 15,000 and runner-up trophy.

In the men's singles semifinals, top seed Aqeel Khan and M Abid both from Wapda will vie for top honours, as they defeated their respective opponents. Aqeel registered straight sets victory against Ahmed Ch 6-3, 6-4 in the first semi-final while in the second semifinal, third seed M Abid beat Shahzad Khan 5-6 (retd). In men's doubles finals, Aqeel Khan/Heera Ashiq got w/o against Shahzad Khan/Yasir Khan. In boys’ U-18 semifinals, Muzammil beat Aman 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 and Hamza beat Barkatullah 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(1). In boys’ U-14 final, Hamza beat Shoaib Khan 7-5, 3-6, 7-5. Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada will grace the final as chief guest and distribute prizes among players.