LAHORE: Pakistan’s prominent tennis player Ushna Suhail, who is leaving for Nigeria on Saturday to take part in her career’s first ITF grade II under-18 tournament, is fully confident to make her debut on a confident note.
“I am optimistic to put up a good performance in my first-ever grade II ITF tournament after participating in as many as 23 grade four and five tournaments in past two years,” she told a news conference along with her coach former Davis Cupper Rashid Malik.
She said the ITF grade II tournament being played at Abuja, Nigeria, from March 28 to April 2, will be challenging as players from twenty countries will be taking part in it.
“It is a very important assignment for me because points earned in it will count to determine my ranking,” said Ushna.
She said she would be playing back-to-back tournaments and after taking part in Nigerian event, she would be flying to Turkey for ITF grade five event being played from April 5.
Ushna said her ultimate dream is to join WTA women circuit next year after producing encouraging results in ITF tournament and to improve her ranking.
“I am doing five hours daily training under the guidance of Rashid Malik to keep myself fit because tennis is a very fast game which demands prime fitness which is only possible by engaging in strenuous court and gym training,” Ushna added.
She said she could play on any court but she found hard courts easier.
The national champion urged the Pakistan Tennis Federation to give exposure and experience to young players by ensuring their participation abroad.
“Tennis players have lesser opportunities to sharpen their skills as playing tournaments abroad is always an expensive venture and the PTF should sponsor such trips.”
Ushna was of the view that less girls are taking up tennis as a sport because they did not get ample chance to explore their talent.
“Individual efforts on part of parents to send their children aborad is the only way to get high-profile experience,” she asserted.
“I have set my goals in tennis and I am confident to be in top 100 in near future and then to make my mark in a positive manner in WTA events worldwide,” she said.—APP