Sports: Tennis: ATF puts weight behind Pakistan in Davis Cup issue

Karachi: The Asian Tennis Federation ATF Board has put its weight behind Pakistan, who has requested International Tennis Federation ITF to overrule the decision of the referee and allow Pakistan to host New Zealand in a venue of Pakistan’s choice with prior consent of ITF.

Pakistan’s senator Dilawar Abbas, ATF Vice President South Asia and patron Pakistan Tennis Federation PTF had drawn the attention of the Board of ATF, in its meeting on April 28 in Bangkok, to PTF’s appeal to the ITF against the decision taken by the referee in Myanmar awarding the Davis Cup round 2 tie to New Zealand.

“Senator Abbas presented the facts to ATF Board and highlighted that the tie had commenced on a court selected by the referee from amongst the two courts which were meant for match play and practice. In fact the referee had selected the practice court for the match,” ATF President Anil Khanna wrote to Davis Cup Committee of ITF.

“As per referee’s instructions the court was shaved and maintained. Pakistan had won the first match and in the second match was one set all and leading 30 in the third set. The referee perhaps noticed some aberration at this stage and within a very short time awarded the match and the tie to New Zealand, without a reasonable discussion and opportunity given to make good the aberration which he had noticed, as per Davis Cup regulations,” he added.

“We fully respect the Davis Cup Committee and the fair regulations made by the ITF for conduct of Davis Cup. Having read the rules carefully, we feel that the decision taken by the referee was without due deliberation and consideration, conformity with Davis Cup Regulations and in good spirit of our premier tennis event i.e. the Davis Cup.

“As you are aware Pakistan Tennis has suffered for the last few years, as Pakistan has not been able to host a home Davis Cup tie. This has resulted also in financial loss to PTF as Davis Cup at home is the only opportunity, for some nations, to raise money from the government and sponsors.

“The ATF Board supports the case of Pakistan and would request the Davis Cup Committee to kindly overrule the decision of the referee and allow Pakistan to host New Zealand in a venue of Pakistan’s choice with prior consent of ITF. This will be a fair decision and will satisfy both the nations and boost the morale of Pakistan players who have participated in and supported the Davis Cup movement, selflessly, over the years. I request the Davis Cup Committee for its kind consideration,” ATF president stressed.