Shaheed BB National Ranking Tennis C’ship from Dec 4

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Islamabad—The second Shaheed Benazir Bhutto National Ranking Tennis Championship will roll into action here at Islamabad Tennis Complex from December 4.
“Around 250 tennis players from across the country will feature in the eight-day championship, to be concluded on December 11,” Senator Taj Haidar said while addressing a news conference here at the event’s venue.
The championship which carries a prize purse of Rs 700000 is being sponsored by Sindh Government’s sports department. “This is the biggest-ever prize money championship in Pakistan,” Haidar said.
He said the Sindh government had granted a total of 1.5 million rupees and besides the prize money the amount would be spent on travelling, meals and other expenses of the players. The event includes men’s singles, ladies singles, men’s doubles, under 10 and under 14 juniors’ singles.
He said several female players arriving from Lahore and Karachi for the event would be provided accommodation at Sindh House.
Taj Haidar said that the winners of men and women single events would be given trophies adding that these trophies were being designed at National Council of the Arts Rawalpindi.
He said the qualifying rounds of the event would commence on fourth of next month and Sindh’s Sports Minister Mohammad Bux Mahar would be the chief guest of the opening ceremony. “While Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah will be the chief guest of the concluding ceremony and award prizes and trophies to the winners,” Haidar added.
To question he said that players from around 23 countries were extended invitations but unfortunately they declined to participate in the event.
Speaking on the occasion President Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) appreciated the organizers for holding the event and assured all-out support to hold it in a befitting manner. “The other provinces should also follow the precedent and try to hold similar events. This will help promote tennis in the country,” he said.
He regretted that despite PTF’s efforts, Pakistan had not been allowed to hold Davis Cup tie. “We’ve been denied to hold the event for the past eleven years. This is a huge setback for the development of tennis in Pakistan.”
He said Pakistan’s next Davis Cup tie would be against Iran in January and if it is held in Islamabad it would be a tremendous boost for tennis here. “Islamabad is one of the safest cities of Asia and I’ll request Iran to play Davis Cup tie here,” he added.
He said the PTF had successfully held two back-to-back Asian Tennis Tour (ATT) tournaments adding that two more such events would be held before the year end. “These are ranking tournaments and next year we’ll be trying to hold at least eight such events,” he said.
Vice President Asian Tennis Federation Senator Syed Dilawar Abbas on the occasion lauded Sindh government for sponsoring the event. He said the only way to promote tennis and other games in the country was to hold such events.—APP