ITF Futures Tennis Tournament: Aqeel, Shahzad clinch doubles title in Islamabad | Pakistan Today

ITF Futures Tennis Tournament: Aqeel, Shahzad clinch doubles title in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: There was finally good news for Pakistan as its unseeded players Aqeel Khan and Shahzad Khan clinched doubles title in Serena Hotels ITF Futures Tennis Tournament 2017 on Saturday at Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Complex in Islamabad.

Aqeel and Shahzad defeated Luka Pavlovic of France and Spaniard Pere Riba in straight sets by 7-6(3), 7-6 (4) score.

“Our opponents also played brilliantly. But we eventually prevailed. It’s a good experience to win an international title in front of home crowd,” said Aqeel, who is Pakistan’s top tennis player.

The local duo previously defeated top seeds in semifinals to reach the final.

“The top seeds were tough opponents. However, if we have been paying international tournaments, our ranking would have been better and we might have been among top seeds of the tournament,” Aqeel told PPI.

Top seeds play against lower ranked opponents in initial rounds and have better chances to progress into next rounds than unseeded players.

“Top eight players meet lower ranked opponents in initial rounds. Seeded players have better chance to progress into next rounds,” Aqeel said.

Though, lack of financial support has kept away players like Aqeel in Pakistan from featuring in international tournaments. But, this ITF event held in Pakistan, would help Aqeel and his teammate Shahzad better their doubles’ rankings. The pair is the first in Pakistan’s history to win ITF Futures Tennis Tournament.

Meanwhile, the final of singles event will be played on December 10 between Russian top seed Ivan Nedelko and the fourth seed Spaniard Pere Riba.

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