LAHORE-Sensational Pakistani kids continued their good show in the Junior Davis Cup 2019 at Bangkok, Thailand as they overcame strong Kazakhstan 2-1.

Zalan Khan began Pakistan’s campaign against Kazakhstan’s Nikita Sidorov, who, after facing some resistance from Pakistani kid, won the match 7-5, 6-1. Zalan fought well in the first set and matched fire with fire till the end before losing the set 5-7. After playing so well, Zalan was nowhere in the second set, as Nikita fully dominated the second set and won it 6-1.

The second match was very crucial for Pakistan and all the responsibilities were on the shoulders of Abdullah Adnan, who not only proved his credentials at this crucial stage but also provided Pakistan much-needed three-set victory, which kept Pakistan’s hopes alive. Abdullah had to struggle hard to beat Zhanger Almashev 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.

In the decisive doubles match, Pakistani kids Abudllah/Zalan displayed outstanding tennis skills and techniques to edge out Kazakhstan’s pair of Timur/Nikita 4-6, 6-3, 10-8. Players of both sides were giving out their best and matching fire with fire and in the end, Pakistani players held their nerves to overcome spirited Kazakh players to win the match, thus won the tie 2-1. Pakistan will play the third and last playoff tie against Sri Lanka today (Saturday).

Talking to The Nation, Pakistan junior Davis Cup team non-playing captain Rashid Malik termed it well-deserved victory for Pakistan over strong Kazakhstan. “Pakistan team played superb tennis to win the crucial tie. Now Philippines and Kazakhstan have been relegated to pre-qualifying next year. I had faith in my players that they could survive in this tough competition. We need to work really hard if we want to qualify in world group.”

Malik said that he wants to discuss future of Pakistan junior tennis plan with PTF President Saleem Saifullah Khan on his return. “I will submit my report to the PTF president and also discuss what new things need to be implemented.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) senior vice president Khawaja Suhail Iftikhar has lauded the team and Rashid Malik for their successive victories and hoped that the players will work harder and try to register more wins during the Junior Davis Cup.

“Pakistan has great tennis talent and the PTF, under the dynamic leadership of its head Salim Saifullah Khan, has been taking practical and effective steps towards promotion of the game across the country. The federation has recently hosted a good number of international tournaments, where local players played alongside the international ones and learnt a lot from them.

“Now the PTF has sent junior team for featuring in Junior Davis Cup, where they are excelling and giving tough times to their superior opponents. The PTF chief is keen to do more for the betterment and development of the game, which will further flourish in the country,” Khawaja Shuail asserted.