KARACHI: South Korea’s number one tennis player is not part of their team playing against Pakistan in Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group-I tie in Islamabad next month.
The tie is scheduled from February 2-3 at the grass courts of Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad. South Korea announced its team on Friday. It is captained by Jae Sik Kim and coached by Young Hong Kim.
The players are Soonwoo Kwon (ITF ranking 174), Youngseok Kim (677), Seongchan Hong (773), and Yongkyu Lim (1,238), and Minjong Park (ITF junior ranking 102). Chul Min Wang is the trainer and Seohee Kim the official of Korea Tennis Association.
“It’s good for Pakistan that their number one player, ranked 71, is playing Australian Open so he excused himself from playing this tie,” said Pakistan’s non-playing captain Hameed-ul-Haq while talking to ‘The International News’.
About Pakistan’s chances in the tie, he said it would be played on best-of-three format so Pakistan would try to make the most of it on the grass courts. “On paper, the Korean team is very strong but we have our own edges. We will try our best to take the benefit of grass courts in Islamabad,” he said.
He said that the Pakistani team comprised Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, Abid Ali Akbar, Aqeel Khan, and Muzammil Murtaza. “Mohammad Abid and Shehzad Khan did not appear in the trials,” said Hameed.Therefore, he added, PTF selected Abid Ali Akbar and Muzammil. “But practically it will be Aisam and Aqeel who will be playing the tie since it is best-of-three now,” said Hameed. South Korea have won five ties against Pakistan, who have managed only two wins.