LAHORE-Former Secretary General of the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF), Col (R) Asif Dar, has expressed deep concern over the recent lackluster performance of the Pakistan women’s tennis team during a second-tier championship in Malaysia. The team, which included exempted players Ushna Suhail and Sara Mahboob, faced significant challenges throughout the tournament.
Speaking about the disappointing performance, Col Dar said: “The recent showing of the Pakistan women’s tennis team in Malaysia is a matter of great concern. The exemption from trials for Ushna Suhail and Sara Mahboob did not yield the anticipated results.”
Ushna Suhail’s performance in particular came under scrutiny. After a resounding 1-6 defeat in the first set of her match, she controversially conceded the second set at 0-3, which some believe was an attempt to avoid a more embarrassing 0-6 scoreline. However, her efforts couldn’t shield her from a similar fate in a match against a Pacific Oceans’ representative, resulting in a 1-6, 0-6 loss.
The remaining team members, who had been selected through trial maneuvers, showcased equally disheartening performances. Their matches were characterized by consecutive losses, often ending with 0-6 scores. Their sole victories came against the last-placed team in their own pool and the last-placed team from another pool.
Talking about the wider issues within the PTF leadership, Col Dar said: “Since November 2022, the current office bearers of the PTF have been postponing elections and retaining their positions through unconstitutional and unethical means. This behavior has not only hindered the progress of our tennis teams but has also resulted in significant setbacks, such as the abysmal performance of the Pakistan Under-16 team, which ranked 16th out of 16 teams.”
Furthermore, the PTF’s inability to secure visas for the Under-14 world group matches was highlighted, as the federation sent players with dual nationality passports instead. “Our juniors are resiliently attempting to compete against top teams, presenting a valuable opportunity for their growth and development. Amir Mazari’s selection based on merit, considering his involvement in the team that qualified for the world group, is a step in the right direction.”
Calling for accountability, Col Dar concluded, “The time has come for the government to take decisive action against these incompetent PTF officials, who are not only squandering valuable national resources but are also impeding the progress of our athletes.”