ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top ranked player Aqeel Khan partnering compatriot Shahzad Khan produced an excellent show here at the PTF Complex on Friday when they outclassed their Indian opponents in the doubles quarter-final of the Begum Kulsum Saifullah ITF Futures tennis tournament. The Pakistan duo comfortably cruised past the Indian pair of Anuraq Nenwani and Jayesh Punglia 6-2, 6-1 to qualify for the semi-finals as the Indians were no match to their Pakistani opponents. Earlier in the morning, the Pakistan pair had beaten Roy Hobbs of Singapore and Canada’s Kelsey Stevenson to make the last-eight phase. In other doubles pre-quarterfinals, the home pairs of Mohammad Abid and Usman Rafiq and Abid Ali Akbar and Samir Iftikhar had to face defeat. In the singles quarter-finals, top seed Ivan Nedelko of Russia faced resistance in the first set from his sixth seeded rival Julian Onken before overcoming the German 7-5, 6-1.
Fourth seed Spaniard Pere Riba bowed out of the tournament due to a hamstring injury during the second set of his quarter-final against France’s Luka Pavlovic.
Results (prefix number denotes seeding):
Quarter-finals: 3-Shalva Dzhanashia (Russia)/Ivan Nedelko (Russia) bt Kunal Anand (India)/Jatin Dahiya (India) 6-1, 6-1; 2-Anton Chekhov (Russia)/Alexandr Lebedyn (Ukraine) bt Dmitry Myagkov (Russia)/Ivan Ponomarenko (Russia) 6-0, 6-1; Aqeel Khan (Pakistan)/Shahzad Khan (Pakistan) bt Anuraq Nenwani (India)/Jayesh Punglia (India) 6-2, 6-1.
Quarter-finals: 2-Enrique Lopez-Perez (Spain) bt 7-Peter Goldsteiner (Austria) 6-3, 6-1; 1-Ivan Nedelko (Russia) bt 6-Julian Onken (Germany) 7-5, 6-1; Luka Pavlovic (France) bt 4-Pere Riba (Spain) 2-6, 5-5 -- retired; 5-Shalva Dzhanashia (Russia) bt 3-Kristian Lozan (Russia) 6-4, 6-2.
First round: Aqeel Khan (Pakistan)/Shahzad Khan (Pakistan) bt Roy Hobbs (Singapore)/Kelsey Stevenson (Canada) 7-6(3), 6-1; Dimitry Myagkov (Russia)/Ivan Ponomarenko (Russia) bt Mohammad Abid (Pakistan)/Usman Rafique (Pakistan) 6-0, 7-6(3); 1-Peter Goldsteiner (Austria)/Julian Onken (Germany) bt Mohammad Abid Ali Akbar (Pakistan)/Samir Iftikhar (Pakistan) 4-6, 6-2, 10-3 (super tiebreak).
Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2017