ISLAMABAD: Aqeel Khan and Muzammil Murtaza Friday set up men’s singles final clash after recording straight sets victories against their respective rivals in the Benazir Bhutto National Ranking Tennis Championship here at the Islamabad Complex.
Aqeel defeated youngster Mohammad Shoaib 6-2, 6-3 in an easy encounter while Muzammil had to work hard to beat Mohammad Abid 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Abid gave a good account of himself in the first set making full use of his ability to play long rallies. Muzammil, on the other hand, was too aggressive in his approach as he was seen sending in some sizzling forehand shots to earn many points.
The first set was decided on a tie-break which Muzammil won courtesy to some powerful serve and baseline game.
“I tried to make full use of the services in the tie-break, winning many points in the process. My baseline game helped me break Abid’s serve and annex the first set,” Muzammil said.
It was a totally one-sided affair in the second set that saw Abid struggling to maintain the stamina for a tough game. Muzammil broke Abid’s serve twice in the second set to earn a place in the final where he will take on Pakistan No 1 Aqeel, who tamed high-flying Shoiab in straight sets.
Aqeel did not allow the youngster to settle down putting pressure right at the outset of the match. Shoaib was never able to make a match and was seen fighting for a lost battle. He looked too shy of putting up any effort against experienced Aqeel who toyed with Shoaib and never gave him opportunity to play his usual game.
“I knew that once Shoaib would come under pressure, it would be tough for him to play his normal game and my technique proved successful,” Aqeel said.
Shoaib, however, rued missed opportunity, saying that he could have played better.
“Aqeel is a tough player while I could not be able to put up my best efforts,” Shoiab said.
Ushna Suhail and Sarah Mahboob will be seen in action in the women’s singles final. Ushna beat Esha Jawad 6-2, 6-0 while Mahvish Chishtie remained unfit to play in the second semi-final against Sarah Mahboob.
Results: Men’s singles semi-finals: Muzammil Murtaza bt Mohammad Abid 7-6(3), 6-2; Aqeel Khan bt Mohammad Shoaib 6-2, 6-3.
Women’s singles semi-finals: Ushna Suhail bt Esha Jawad 6-2, 6-0; Sarah Mahboob bt Mahvish Christie w/o (medical reason).
Men’s doubles final: Aqeel Khan & Shahzad Khan bt Abid & Waqas Malak 6-2, 6-4.
Boys’ Under 14 final: Hamid Israr bt Haider Ali Rizwan 5-3, 5-3.
Girls’ Under-14 semi-finals: Sheeza Sajid bt Soha Ali 4-2, 4-0; Amna Ali Qayum bt Zainab Ali Raja 4-2, 4-0.
Boys and girls’ Under-12 semi-finals: Hamza Roman bt Hamza Ali Rizwan 4-1, 4-2; Haniya Minhas bt Amir Mazari 5-4(6), 4-5(4), 4-0.
Boys and girls’ Under-10 semi-finals: Hassan Usmani bt Zohaib Afzal 5-3, 4-1; Ismail Aftab bt Shayan 4-2, 5-4(3).
Source: The News