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ISLAMABAD: In a quest to make major upset in the second round tie of the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group I against Uzbekistan, Pakistan’s main hope and international tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi will set the ball rolling Friday morning against the visitors’ top player Denis Istomin here at the Pakistan Sports Complex.

Thurday’s draws decided 38-year old Aisam will face Istomin in the opening singles fixture of the tie.

Aqeel Khan will complete the first day’s proceedings after playing the second single against 23-year-old Sanjar Fayziev.

Speaking to Dawn on Thursday, Aisam said that he would make every effort to defeat his strong opponent.

“My preparation is good, I will play with full force,” he said. “On paper, the guest team looks strong but Pakistan will make the most of home advantage,” added the veteran.

“In previous two tournaments we defeated strong Thailand and South Korea sides. In those ties we were considered underdogs. Again, we will utilise all our energies and try to win.”

In Saturday’s doubles, Aqeel and Aisam will face Fayziev and Jurabek Karimov and in reverse singles, Aqeel will face Istomin while Aisam will face Fayziev.

Non-playing captain Mohammad Khalid said the competition will be tough.

“I hope we do as well as we did against Thailand and South Korea,” he said.

Khalid added in case of a 3-0 lead to Pakistan youngsters Muzammil Murtaza and Heera Ashiq may get their chance to feature in the reverse singles.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2018