Aqeel, Ushna annex tennis titles in style

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LAHORE: Winners of various categories pose for a group photo with Wapda chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain and PLTA secretary Rashid Malik on Saturday.
LAHORE: Winners of various categories pose for a group photo with Wapda chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain and PLTA secretary Rashid Malik on Saturday.

LAHORE: Top seed Aqeel Khan and national champion Ushna Suhail annexed men and women singles titles winning their respective finals in the 4th Sheheryar Malik Memorial National Grass Court Tennis Championship 2020 here at Punjab Tennis Academy Bagh-e-Jinnah on Saturday.

Pakistan WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen (r) Muzammil Hussain was the chief guest and awarded prizes to the winners of all the categories.

In the men’s singles final, Aqeel overwhelmed Muzammil Murtaza 6-0, 6-2. Aqeel, the longest-serving No. 1 player of Pakistan, off to a flying start as he played a superb baseline and net game to win the first set quite easily. Muzammil, an upcoming guy, who has less experienced in playing on the grass court, though tried to stage a comeback, Aqeel was not ready to let loose him as he dropped just two points to win the second set in great style and the final.

In the ladies singles final, national tennis champion Ushna Suhail outclassed top seed Sarah Mehboob 6-0, 6-2. Right from the start, Ushna displayed an aggressive game and did not allow Sarah to settle down. She was able to take a lead of 3-0 in the first 10 minutes and then maintained the pressure to win the set without conceding a single game at 6-0. Although the score doesn’t reflect the long rallies with both the players displayed during the first set. In the next set, Sarah was able to take one game at 4-1 by displaying some aggressive game and good service. Ushna again led at 5-1 by showing her talent and experience. Sarah was again able to take the second point at 5-2 while Ushna served out to win the match 6-0, 6-2.

Later Ushna, who is the first and only world-ranked female tennis player of Pakistan in 73 years, said: “I am happy at my performance in the first national tournament after the Corona crisis. I wasn’t able to practice much due to my graduation at London University, but I am glad that I give out my best and succeeded in recording a comfortable victory to clinch the national title.”

Meanwhile, Aqeel also earned double’s final, partnering with Shahzad Khan. The pair defeated brother Muzammil and Mudassar with a score of 7-5, 6-4.

The boys under-14 the title went to Muhammad Shoaib, who outpaced Semi Zeb 6-1, 6-2 while the title of boys/girls Under-12 clinched by Ahtesham Humayun, who got a walk over against Hussain Ali Rizwan. The Under-10 the title was lifted by Hamza Ali Rizwan, who beat spirited Zohaib Afzal Malik 4-2, 4-2.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2020