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Pakistan beats Thailand to qualify for Group-I of Davis Cup

September 17, 2017

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Pakistani Aisam Qureshi returns the ball to Thai opponent Trongcharoenchaikul Wishaya during the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II Tennis singles final match at the Sports Complex in Islamabad on September 17, 2017. —AFP
Pakistani Aisam Qureshi returns the ball to Thai opponent Trongcharoenchaikul Wishaya during the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-II Tennis singles final match at the Sports Complex in Islamabad on September 17, 2017. —AFP

Pakistan qualified for Group-I of the Davis Cup by beating Thailand 3-2 in the Asia-Oceania Group-II final played at the grass courts of the Pakistan Sports Complex in Isamabad on Sunday.

In the first match of the reverse singles Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul outclassed Aisam-ul-Haq by 7-5, 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 7-6 (3-2).

Wishaya took the lead in the first two sets thrashing Aisam by 7-5 and 7-6. But Aisam went on to win the third and fourth sets by 6-4, 7-6 but failed to keep up to the game because of an injury and lost the last set to Wishaya by 6-7.

In the other match, Aqeel Khan led Pakistan to victory by defeating Kittiphong Wachiramanowong by 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-2 (3-2).

Aqeel came off strong in the first two sets 6-4, 6-3 while Kittiphong made a comeback in the third and fourth set by 3-6, 2-6 but Aqeel ended the final set on a winning note by 6-2.

Speaking at the end of the match, Aqeel said: "I wanted Aisam to finish the final for Pakistan but I think it was written in my fate to do so."

Aisam congratulated the nation on the victory, adding that it had been a historic week for sports in Pakistan as Pakistan cricket team beat World XI in Lahore and "we won the Davis Cup final".

On the occasion, Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah announced a cash prize of Rs500,000 for the team. “Our players worked very hard and PTF will do all-out efforts for promotion of tennis in the country,” he said.

This was Aqeel's second victory in the group finals while Aisam had also won his match on Friday.

It was important for Aqeel to win for Pakistan to qualify after suffering a loss in the doubles played on Saturday.