The India-Pakistan tennis caravan rolled into town on Saturday visibly tired. Not just the travel, but playing on three different surfaces — clay, grass and now hard courts at the DLTA on Sunday — meant it was also demanding.
Pakistan took a 2-1 lead in the friendship series in Chandigarh on Friday and there is a lot at stake for the hosts to level it on the morrow.
The inaugural series, though not officially sanctioned by ITF, has been a good tune-up for the players keeping the Doha Asiad in mind. But it has been low profile, and matches have failed to attract the crowd.
“Such a series is of great importance,” said Aisam Qureshi, the skipper of the current squad.
“All the players were pumped up to play this series and this is a good warm-up for the Doha Games,” he added.
But player complaints were more about the schedule — travelling to Islamabad (clay), Lahore (grass) and then Chandigarh (hard courts). “It is difficult playing on three different surfaces in a week’s time, but it was challenging,” said Karan Rastogi. “So much travelling gets to you but when one is playing for the country we have to deal with such things,” he added.
Meanwhile, Aisam suggested that the series should have had five legs instead of four to give the series a result.