LAHORE - The courageous and determined Pakistani tennis player, Zohaib Afzal Malik (SA Group), continues to impress in the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) events held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan as he secured two silver medals and earned consecutive fifth positions in a highly competitive field. In the 4th leg of the ATF U14 competition, Zohaib’s position match lasted over three hours, during which he sustained a minor injury. However, he fearlessly persevered and demonstrated glimpses of the legendary Novak Djokovic’s game style.
The spectators enthusiastically applauded Zohaib’s fighting spirit and game, hailing him as a future world tennis star, should he maintain the same passion, dedication, zeal, and zest. Zohaib took an early lead of 3-2 in the first set, but a sudden pain in his right arm prevented him from giving his hundred percent.
His opponent seized the opportunity to equalize the score at 3-3 and eventually won the set 5-3. Despite struggling to reach the ball and hit serves, Zohaib chose to play even more fiercely and won the second set 4-1, despite being offered the option to retire. In the third set, while hitting the ball, Zohaib accidentally hit the side bench and required medical assistance. Despite it being a more than two-and-ahalf-hour match, he refused to retire and continued to fight. He had another chance to retire when his opponent had a match point, but Zohaib displayed exceptional resilience and won the set 9-7 in a tie break.
His phenomenal three-hour-long match earned him the fifth position. His determination and fighting spirit are truly admirable and a testament to his passion for the sport. Zohaib, a shining student of LGS Phase V Lahore, expressed his gratitude towards his family for their unwavering support and his sponsor, SA Group, without whom it would not have been possible for him to play back-to-back ATF tournaments.
He also acknowledged his coach, Muhammad Khalid, and physical trainer, Muhammad Arshad, for their coaching and guidance, which has proven to be fruitful at the international level. Zohaib vowed to work even harder and prepare well for the upcoming ATF events to bring more laurels for himself and his country.