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Aqeel overcomes Abid, wins tennis crown

LAHORE: Top seed Aqeel Khan won the first Sheharyar Malik National Grass Courts Tennis Championships by defeating Mohammad Abid in the three-set final at the Punjab Lawn Tennis Association court in Bagh-i-Jinnah here on Wednesday.

Aqeel wrapped up the final with the score being 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 and pocketed a cash prize of Rs100,000 while Abid received a cash prize of Rs50,000.

In the first set, Abid came out winner as he had broken Aqeel’s serves in the second and the fourth games while Aqeel also broke Abid in the fifth game.

But it was last laugh for Abid, as Aqeel consolidated his game and gave a perfect reply, winning the second set without losing any game, breaking Abid’s serves in the 2nd, 4th and 6th game.

In the third set, both upheld their serves till 4-4, before Aqeel again broke Abid’s serve in the fifth and then holding his own, added another feather in his cap.

Sara Mansoor clinched the ladies’ single title when she proved too good against Esha Jawad winning the final in straight ways 6-1, 6-1 and received a cash prize of Rs35,000 while Esha was honoured with a cash prize of Rs18,000.

Rashid Malik, former Davis Cupper and now international coach and organiser of the tournament in memory of his son Sheharyar, who died last year at an age of 20, earned double crown, first winning the final of 50 plus and on Wednesday he also won the 35 plus.

In 35 plus, Rashid with Jamil Ahmad outclassed the pair of Israr Gul and Arif Feroz 6-3, 6-2.

In 40 plus, Talha Waheed and Fayyaz Khan beat the pair of Sheharyar Salamat and Arif Feroz 4-6, 6-0, 10-6.

In 60 plus tough final, Rao Iftikhar and Rai Zahid emerged as champions after beating hot favourites Asad Niaz and Waqar Nisar after 90-minute-long fight.

Iftikhar and Zahid had lost to Asad and Waqar in the last national championships last year and avenged of it by winning the match with the score being 4-6, 6-0, 10-6.

Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) president Saleem Saifullah Khan was the chief guest and distributed the prizes.

Saleem said it was a good attempt of holding the tournament on grass courts under the hot weather.

He said the PTF would also start grass courts championship, which had never been held by the federation for the last 14 years.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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