Khawaja Suhail Iftikhar, Senior Vice President of Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF), emphasized the ongoing Juniors International Tennis tournaments in Islamabad, supported by private sector initiatives like the ACE Academy led by Aisam-ul-Haq. According to Khawaja Suhail, these initiatives reflect PTF’s commitment to promoting tennis from grassroots levels.
“This positive outcome is a stark contrast to the Davis Cup Tie in 2019, where AITA raised similar security concerns, leading to the match being played at a neutral venue in Kazakhstan. This time, PTF’s persistent efforts, spearheaded by President Salim Saifullah Khan and his team, have effectively lobbied in relevant ITF quarters, making a compelling case for Pakistan’s safe and congenial sports environment,” stated Khawaja Suhail.
Khawaja Suhail commended the recent International Tennis Federation (ITF) decision, triggered by the All India Tennis Association’s (AITA) refusal to play the World Group 1 playoff Davis Cup tie in Islamabad in Jan/Feb 2024 due to security concerns. According to him, this development is seen as a significant success in sports diplomacy for Pakistan.
“Additionally, the smooth execution of eight Davis Cup ties in Islamabad since 2017 underscores PTF’s dedication to the promotion and development of tennis in Pakistan,” added Khawaja Suhail.
President Salim Saifullah Khan actively engaged with ITF officials during a recent visit to London, vehemently presenting Pakistan’s case and countering AITA’s lobbying efforts. The success of these diplomatic endeavors has earned acknowledgment and appreciation at various government and sports forums.
Khawaja Suhail highlighted that the ongoing Juniors International Tennis tournaments in Islamabad, supported by private sector initiatives like the ACE Academy led by Aisam-ul-Haq, exemplify the federation’s persistent efforts. The academy is known for conducting Pakistan’s first-ever Tennis Talent Hunt and providing free 12 months training to 16 selected juniors who now excel in various age categories.