Davis Cup: Abid Ali Akbar books a spot for Pakistan in the final

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KARACHI: Abid Ali Akbar sealed the win for Pakistan as the team reached the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Zone Group II final after defeating Indonesia 3-1 at the Gelora Bung Karno Tennis Stadium in Jakarta.

The 24-year-old wrapped his match with a 6-0, 7-6 (7/2), 0-6, 6-2 win against Davis Agung Susanto in the first reverse singles rubber of the day and also ensured Pakistan’s place in the final round in three hours and 20 minutes.

“This was Akbar’s first win and he was brilliant,” Pakistan’s coach and non-playing captain Hamedul Haq told The Express Tribune. “I’m proud of my team; I couldn’t believe that we’ve really won. I’m excited for these players because they all pushed themselves and qualified for the finals.”

Haq said that he wanted Samir Iftikhar to play the fifth singles rubber, but the referee decided otherwise as Akbar’s win decided the tie.

Earlier, Aqeel Khan and Samir won the singles rubber on day one as Pakistan led 2-0, while Aqeel and Akbar lost the doubles tie on day two.

‘Hold next tie in Pakistan’

Haq said that it is essential for the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) to convince the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to allow the final tie to take place in Pakistan.

“The PTF should make an effort and convince the ITF that the security situation has improved here,” said Haq. “It’s high time that we hold a tie in Pakistan, and as this tie is going to be the final of Group II, we want the home crowd to cheer for us in person.”

Pakistan, who face either Philippines or Chinese Taipei in the decider, will play the Group II final for the second time in nine years.

Murray looks for Queen’s boost against France

Andy Murray will lead Great Britain against France at The Queen’s Club as Serbia travel to Argentina without Wimbledon champion Novak Djokavic in Davis Cup World Group quarter-final action starting on Friday.

Murray, the world number three, will be looking for a lift after his Wimbledon semi-final exit to Roger Federer as Great Britain host France a few kilometres away in West London’s Queen’s Club from July 17-19.

Meanwhile, Canada will be without their top player Milos Raonic, who is nursing a foot injury, as his side travel to Ostend to play Belgium, who are led by world number 15 David Goffin.

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