Pakistan tennis squad off to SK for Davis Cup


As many as five-member Pakistan tennis squad have left on Friday morning for Seoul, South Korea to figure in the Davis Cup tie of the Asia Oceania Group-II slated from July 8 to 10.
The squad comprises country’s top-ranked Aqeel Khan, Yasir Khan, Samir Iftikhar, Muhammad Khalid (non-playing-captain) and Dr. Awais (physio). While Aisam-ul-Haq, who is in the London will directly fly to Korea in a day or two and join the team before July 3. Last time Pakistan played against South Korea was in 2003 in Lahore and won the tie 3-2.
Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Syed Kaleem Imam pointed out that although Korea was a tough country to beat but the Pakistan team had the capability to beat them. “I am quite satisfied with the training of boys and hope they will deliver their best in the contest,” he said.
The PTF had roped in an American-based Pakistani coach Jaleel Riaz, who provided a tough training to players at Pakistan Air Force’s synthetic hard courts in Islamabad during the 15-day camp.
Kaleem said that the services of Jaleel, a former Pakistan Davis Cupper were hired as Pakistan needed a good coach for an important tie. “It’s an important match for us. That is why we ensured the services of a quality coach. He not only provided physical training to boys but also focused to make them mentally strong,” he added.
He said that the federation was sending players to Korea one weak before the commencement of Davis Cup so that they could get practice there and also get accustomed to new conditions.
Meanwhile, ace tennis player Aqeel Khan, who prior to the camp was on a 15-day coaching stint with the Sri Lankan Davis Cup team in Colombo termed his stay there as ‘fruitful’ saying, “imparting training to Sri Lankan team has also helped me in preparation for the Davis Cup.” “No doubt the Koreans are a tough side to beat and will also have home advantage but we are also fully prepared,” Aqeel added.