LAHORE-Pakistan veteran tennis star Rashid Malik (Tamgha-e-Imtiaz) on Saturday was accorded a warm welcome upon arrival in his hometown after defending his ITF Seniors World Ranking Championship titles in India. 

Former Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Vice President Col (R) Asif Dar along with Rangers officials and tennis enthusiasts welcomed the tennis legend at the Wahga Border and congratulated him on defending his titles in India and showered praises on his excellent performances in India. Col Dar lauded the services of Rashid Malik for Pakistan tennis and hoped that he would continue to serve the game in the best possible manner. He also thanked Rangers for such an elaborate reception for tennis legend. 

It is a great feat for former Davis Cupper and renowned coach Rashid Malik to defend his 50plus singles and 45plus doubles titles in India. He has the honour of winning almost 70 singles matches without losing a single one. He continued his good show in India too despite returning to professional tennis after a gap of four years due to Covid. In a short time, he prepared himself for the ITF Seniors and once again outclassed his opponents to successfully defend his titles. 

Speaking on the occasion, Malik said: “I am grateful to Col (R) Asif Dar and the Rangers for the warm welcome on my return from India. It is a great gesture that helps the players do more for the country. Such a beautiful welcome delighted me and I want the government high-ups to give such welcomes to all those Pakistani players, who earn good name for the country across the world. It really motivates them to win more laurels and glories for Pakistan in international events. 

“I will now play a couple of more ITF events to get ready for World Championship next year in Portugal. But before this, I have to defend my ITF Seniors World Ranking Tennis Championship title in Thailand in November. My ultimate target is winning World Championship title and hopefully, I will work harder to prepare for the mega event and try to win such a big title for my country,” he asserted. 

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Ehsan-ur-Rehman Mazari has congratulated Mr. Rashid Malik on winning two crowns in India. He termed Malik a true tennis legend, saying the veteran player is not only winning international laurels for Pakistan but also coaching, training and grooming the talented tennis kids of the country well and transforming them into champions, who have now started earning laurels at Asian level. 

Malik also extended his gratitude to the IPC Minister, saying, “I would like to thank IPC Minister Ehsan-ur-Rehman Mazari for congratulating me and inviting me to visit him in Islamabad. Soon I will meet him and discuss the ways how to improve Pakistan tennis especially junior tennis development that is the key to take Pakistan tennis to new heights.” 

Not only this, even Indian players showered praises on Malik’s tennis skills. Tikam Singh, an Indian professional veteran player, said: “I thank Mr. Malik for being my partner in doubles and because of him, we could win the doubles title. During the match, he kept on guiding me and raining my morale that helped me succeed in giving my hundred percent. “Mr. Malik is a very fine sportsperson and a tennis legend. We wish him good health and good luck for future endevours,” Tikam Singh added.