ISLAMABAD: International junior players, who gathered in Pakistan from across the world for back-to-back ITF events, Thursday expressed their pleasure over the overall tennis environment, quality of the competition, security arrangements and above all locals’ hospitality.
‘The News’ has conducted interviews with six leading boys and girls’ players who took part in two events and were unanimous in saying that they would love to travel to Pakistan again and again.
“This is my first trip to Pakistan. I never have thought of such a friendly atmosphere for the tennis events. The people here are exceptional and so is the tennis environment. The standard of the courts in Pakistan can easily be compared to rest of the world,” Maria Pukhina, who hails from Russia, said.
Accompanied by her mother, Maria said she never had thought about a clean and pure playing environment. “It is a surprise for me. Besides the best of tennis competition, the complex’s surroundings are exceptional.”
Switzerland’s Oscar Baumgartner, who lost his second-round match, was looking forward to his match in the second ITF international. “Though I lost my match against Frenchman, my elder brother is playing well and hopefully would go all the way. I never have thought of such a nice and friendly surrounding here. We are feeling at ease and all we have to do is to concentrate on our tennis. Before coming to Pakistan we had different thoughts but we witnessed the situation here completely opposite. Pakistan has possibly the best tennis environment in Asia.”
Frenchman Carl Holder especially praised the exceptional helpful attitude of locals.
“The best thing about Pakistan is that everyone is ready to help you out. It seems that you are playing at your own club. I am really impressed by the host federation. They are exceptional people ready to extend support. Everything has been professionally handled which helped us in putting up our best efforts. We know when and where to practice and play matches. This all is being done according to laid down rules which surely is a big support for us.”
Russian Amir Asylkozhaev was too impressed with Islamabad which he said is one of the best cities he has seen so far.
“It is clean and beautiful city. The food and security here are exceptional. We never have thought of such a friendly atmosphere for tennis. Though I lost my second round match but my efforts would be to put up the best efforts in the second round.”
Iman Ali, whose presents hail from Mansehra, wanted to represent Pakistan instead of the United Kingdom.
Accompanied by her uncle, Iman said he wanted to be part of Pakistan’s future tennis plans. Yes, why not I would definitely want to play for Pakistan. My uncle would talk about on this matter with federation’s president Salim Saifullah Khan.”
Source: The News