ISLAMABAD: Tennis ace Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi Wednesday said a fifth player should have been included in the Pakistan squad for the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group-I tie against South Korea, scheduled to take place from February 2 here at the grass courts of Pakistan Sports Complex.
While addressing a press conference here at a local hotel, Aisam said the best junior player must have been included in the squad as the fifth player but I don’t know why Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has not thought of it. Speaking about the tie, Aisam said the Korean team is stronger than us on paper but they are less experienced to the grass courts and we will take full advantage of it.
“The Koreans are playing very good tennis but we are going to give our best,” he said. Instead of the previous practice of three-days, the two-day Davis Cup format would be an advantage to them. “I was talking to Aqeel Khan the other day and we had planned to play attacking game in the tie,” he said and added we have more strength in the doubles. Responding to a question, he said Shahzad Khan and Muhammad Abid should have appeared in the trials and booked their places in the squad.
Aqeel Khan said the responsibility also lies on the junior players to prepare them for the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania as to replace us in future. “The reduced Davis Cup format will benefit every country,” he said and added we had not received any incentives for the tie in which Hong Kong pulled its team out.
Non-playing captain Hameed ul Haq said juniors Yousaf Khan and Shoaib Khan must have been considered in the Davis Cup squad. “Aqeel and Aisam have never disappointed us in Davis Cup,” he said. Abid Ali Akbar said tennis is his passion and he does coaching to make money for playing at international circuit.
Pakistan team includes Non-playing captain Hameed ul Haq, Aisam, Aqeel, Abid and Muzammil Murtaza. On the occasion, the Korean team comprising Jae Sik Kim, Youngseok Kim, Minjong Park, Yongkyu Lim, Soonwoo Kwon and Seongchan Hong said we have been training in the national training centre prior to coming here for the tie.
“The tie will be a tough one as we don’t have any grass courts in Korea and we had been practicing on the clay courts,” they said. They said we have young players in our squad as compared to the Pakistani team which will be an edge for us but Pakistani players are more experienced than us. “Singles will be our strength in the tie,” they said.