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Aqeel dethrones Asim in final

October 21, 2002

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: Aqeel Khan, star of Pakistan’s Davis Cup victory over China last month, earned more honours Sunday by winning his Federal Cup title.

His opponent in the final was second seed Asim Shafik, whom he defeated 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in front of an appreciative crowd.

Aqeel, who powered Pakistan to Asia Oceania Group I of the Davis Cup in Peshawar with a dazzling display, continued to shine, this time on the on the clay courts of Islamabad Club. Playing intelligently, he soon forced Asim on to the back foot and raced ahead to take the set without much difficulty.

But Asim, the defending champion, put on a fine show in the second set which was decided on a tie-break after the scores stood at 6-6.

However, Aqeel who has improved considerably on clay kept his nerve to lay his hands on the crystal trophy, that was presented to him by the chairman of the SAF Games Organising Committee, Lt Gen Syed Arif Hasan. For his fine achievement, he also picked up a prize purse of Rs 30,000.

Also taking home a trophy was the surprise package of the women’s singles event, Sylvia Lokollo of Indonesia who on Saturday became the first foreigner to win the Federal Cup, knocking out Mariam Rahim in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

The junior under-18 title went to Shahid Afridi while Abid Ali bagged the under-12 crown, both finals having been played Saturday.

As the Federal Cup which has been organised regularly for the past 18 years came to a close, the Pakistan Tennis Federation officials heaved a sigh of relief having successfully organised three tournaments in as many weeks in Islamabad.

Sunday’s results:

Men’s singles final: Aqeel Khan bt Asim Shafik 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)

Men’s doubles final: Rashid Malik/Aqeel Khan bt Nomi Qamar/Aurangzeb Khan 6-1, 6-3

Boys under-18 final: Shahid Afridi bt Babar Ali Khan 6-3, 6-0

Boys under-12 final: Abid Ali bt Tabish Raza 4-2, 4-0

Veterans (over 50) doubles final: Tahawwar Ali/Pervez bt Sher Khan/Iftikhar Rashid 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.