The 6th Hassan Tariq Rahim National Ranking Tennis Tournament was inaugurated by the nationally acclaimed Khawaja Tariq Rahim in memory of his charming and alluring son Hassan Tariq (1966-2013 – innā li-llāhi wa-ʾinna ʾilayhi rājiʿūn – Verily we belong to Allah and verily to Him do we return) who left this world about seven years back. Though this occasion was lively and festive, the impact of reminiscence left many eyes moist and uncontrollable was the element of despondency felt by the near and dear ones, including his tennis playing mates at the Gymkhana Tennis playing courts.
After the earlier disconsolate moments, the first matches in Men’s Section went into action and discernible was agility, energy and forceful tennis ball motion as the established ones down cast and muted the less dexterous ones into submission. At the receiving end was Hamid Israr who stormed out of the Championship without a semblance of a fight against the top ranked Aqeel Khan. Similar meek ones met an identical fate and enabled champions like Barkat ullah, Muhammed Abid, Imran Bhatti, Shehzad Khan, Muhammed Shoaib and Parbhat Kumar to conveniently advance to the next round without being put to a test by their adversaries.
Interestingly, even in the under 18 years category adolescents like Yahya Ahtesham, Semi Zeb Khan, Bakir Ali and Ghazi Ahmed found their opponents rather feeble and they appeared outstanding in showing their dominant volleys. Only one match went the full stretch as Uzair Khan succeeded in extending his combatant to three sets but ultimately lost the battle to Mahatir Muhammed.
The second round matches will be held on Tuesday, 30th November and hopefully promise another day of classy contests at the Lahore Gymkhana Tennis Courts.