Pakistan start as favourites

Pakistan start as favourties when they take on India in the fourth and final tie of the SAIL Indo-Pak bilateral tennis competition on Sunday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
  • Total Shares
New Delhi:It might have been dubbed as a friendly series, but Pakistan will entertain no such sentiments when they take on India in the fourth and final tie of the SAIL Indo-Pak bilateral tennis competition in New Delhi on Sunday. The visitors start as clear favourites, having an unassailable 2-1 lead after winning in Lahore and Chandigarh, and will be keen to deliver the knock-out punch in the inaugural edition of what is slated as an annual tournament. The DLTA Complex in particular has proved to be a happy hunting ground for Pakistan's lead player Aisam ul Haq Qureshi and his teammate Aqeel Khan. And the duo would be looking to extend their love affair with the city that has been like home away from home for them. "I have won two Futures titles and a Satellite here. It is not just this city, but all of India that I have felt at home," Qureshi said. "I am looking to playing (Karan) Rastogi. He has played some unbelievable tennis so far," he said. India, who have a far bigger pool of talent than their neighbours, have failed to assert their supremacy since winning the first tie in Islamabad. If playing on different surfaces - clay in the Pakistani capital, grass at Lahore, and hard at Chandigarh and here - have tested the players' technical ability, the travel with only a day's gap between each tie - has tested their fitness. Bopanna indisposed India's spearhead Rohan Bopanna has been sick since arriving in Chandigarh, where he played only the doubles. And the bus journey from Chandigarh - which stretched to 7-1/2 hours because of traffic snarls - has added to his woes. Coach Nandan Bal said a decision on Bopanna would be taken in the morning. Qureshi, who partnered Leander Paes in the doubles at Mumbai Open in September, said Pakistan had more to gain from the novel concept of Indo-Pak series. "India probably don't need the tournament. They have already got the recognition. Players like Leander and Sania (Mirza) have proved themselves on the international stage and are household names," he said. "It is in Pakistan where the sport needs to grow. Playing against India will catch people's attention and it will be a good exposure for the junior players." Pakistan's number one player will play India's number two in the first singles, followed by the second singles between India's number one and Pakistan's number two. The singles matches would be followed by the doubles. (PTI)

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

Leave a comment