Karachi: Pakistan’s Tennis player Aisam-ul-Haq revealed that Sania Mirza turned down his mixed doubles offer to avoid controversies.
Speaking to reporters via teleconference, Aisam expressed his wish to get partnered with Indian Tennis star in mixed doubles. “I have very good relations with Sania and her husband Shoaib Malik. Sania has achieved a lot for his country and she is not only a good player but a human being too,” he said.
“I wish to play with her, in fact I have asked her once to get partnered in mixed doubles but I think she doesn’t want to get involved in any controversy following the current situation between both countries,” he added upon being asked.
Tennis suffering in Pakistan
Aisam talked about the lack of government’s concentration on Tennis which is one of the most followed sports around the world. “If you will not invest, you will get sponsorship and viewership either,” he said.
“Tennis is a world-class sport and it has probably more following than cricket. The government should invest in other sports too apart from cricket,” he added.
The 40-year-old thinks that Tennis has a lot to offer for youngsters but there is a need to encourage more and more people towards it. “It is important to promote the game as we do cricket. I am not against cricket or cricketers as I also play cricket with my nephews. My point is simple, if you invest in Tennis or any other sport, you will get the same response as cricket,” he maintained.
Retirement from Tennis
Aisam doesn’t have retirement plans for the near future as age is just a number for him. “I feel I am still fit to continue playing. I don’t have retirement plans for now. My aim is to lift Pakistan’s name on the international Tennis circuit,” he said.
The Tennis player said that he is available for the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) anytime. “My services are available anytime for Pakistan and I am ready to serve in any capacity,” he continued.
Aisam, who owns ‘Stop War Start Tennis’ foundation, is running a ration drive in Lahore. “I have donated ration bags among needy families. I tried my best to help as much families as I can in this tough situation,” he said.