Unseeded Barkat Ullah of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa upset No. 1 seeded and Pakistan No. 5 Yousaf Khalil in a marathon Men singles final of the Ramadan Floodlight Open Tennis Championship played here at Synthetic Courts on Wednesday.
Barkat Ullah’s body language made him plight plain and he did not take much pressure by entering the court to accomplish the task of playing tennis against his strong rival Yousaf Khalil in the marathon three sets battle.
Both Barkat Ullah and Yousaf Khalil of PAF played very attacking game in front of a good number of spectators who witnessed the thrilling match with Barkat lost the first set at 4-6. There were a see saw battle in the first set and Yousaf, the top seeded, fully utilized his energy on forceful smashes.
When Yousaf took the first set at 4-6, the two stretched to fully length in the second set tied at 6-6 before Barkat, a top national ranking player, came back after conceding the first set 4-6. He finished the set with 7-6.
Both Barkat and Yousaf played well in the third and decisive set but Barkat played with determination by putting Yousaf in the back of the court with incisive rallies of forceful smashes. Yousaf tried his hard to come back when the score was tied at 4-all but the Ace service of Barkat played a key role in his victory and thus he marched to a 6-4 victory.
“I played very well and after a tough semi-final, I got my pace and thus work hard to topple strong Yousaf Khalil in the marathon three sets battle, lasted for two hours and 14 minutes. “I enjoyed the match and was happy when got points on Ace services and some of the accurate smashes,” Barkat added. “I was bit nerves because after winning the first set, I could not maintain my rhythm in front of Barkat, who was so aggressive which compelled me to play defensive game, thus cost the final,” Yousaf added. Both Barkat and Yousaf lauded DG Sports for installing floodlight facilities in the Synthetic Courts of the Qayyum Sports Complex which enable the players to have their matches and practice session in the night despite hot summer weather.
In the Men doubles Yousaf and Shoaib Khan of PAF defeated Ejaz Ahmad and Barkat Ullah of KP Police by 6-2, 2-6 and 6-10, a super tiebreaker. Yousaf and Shoaib Khan faced tough resistance against Ejaz Ahamd and Barkat Ullah but they played well and marched into victory in three sets battle, lasted for one hour and 50 minutes.
In the Boys Under-14 singles, second seeded Uzair Khan upset top seeded and international Kashan Umar by 6-4 and 6-4 in another thrilling. Although it was expected that Kashan, the top seeded, would win the final but all such expectations proved to otherwise when Uzair Khan played classic Tennis by winning the final 2-0. Both Kashan and Uzair Khan played well with some fine cross courts smashes were also witnessed.
In the Under-14 Boys doubles Kashan and Uzair beat Kamran Khalil and Hamza Roman in straight sets, the score was 6-3 and 6-3. In the Men singles Naeem of New TV defeated Ijaz Ahmad Khan of APP in a marathon three sets battle lasted for one hour and 55 minutes, the score was 6-4, 4-6 and 6-4. Both Naeem and Ijaz played well in front of good number of spectators including journalists.
In the Girls singles Hareem Fatima defeated Urooj by 6-1 and 6-2 while Urooj also beat Arfa third position match by 6-2 and 6-4.
At the end, Naib Nazim Peshawar Syed Qasim Ali Shah gave away trophies, certificates and cash prizes to the winners and runners-up. He also lauded the organizing committee for holding the event in floodlight. Chairman KP Tennis Association Dr. Tahir, Secretray Umar Ayaz, RSO Jamshed Baloch were also present.