Subh-e-Nau Ladies National Tennis Tournament 2018
An exclusive tennis tournament for women was hosted in the last week of September 2018, which was well attended by fans from all walks of life.
Women sports are largely neglected in Pakistan and there are very few opportunities for women players to excel in competitive events. Subh-e-Nau has always been supportive of involving women in mainstream sports activities and providing them equal opportunities. Since Subh-e-Nau is involved in promotion of tennis at all levels for more than two decades now, it has always given preference to female players in its events, coaching camps and other tennis related activities. In Pakistan, there are very few national level tennis events where women category is part of the activity. Subh-e-Nau is the only tennis event organizer in national circuit which has hosted so exclusive ladies tennis events in Pakistan for last many years. Continuing its tradition, SN hosted SN Ladies National Tennis Tournament in last week of September 2018 featuring top female players from all over the country.
Subh-e-Nau Ladies National Tennis Tournament was announced in the second week of the September 2018 and it received overwhelming response from circles of tennis. Top ranked women players featured in this 5 days long tennis gala. The tournament held at hard courts of Pakistan Sports Board Islamabad from 23rd to 27th September 2018. Initially, Subh-e-Nau announced 3 categories for this event which included Ladies Singles, Ladies Doubles and Girls U-18. On repeated requests from parents and media persons, SN Chairperson announced to include Girls U-14, Girls U-10 and Media Singles as well to give more color to the event. Chairperson SN Shahida Kausar Farooq appointed Mahvish Chishtie as director of the tournament while Shahzad Akhtar Alvi was appointed Tournament Referee. Draws of the tournament were held on Saturday 22nd September at event venue. Organizers had to scrap Girls U-18 category due to less number of entries. Sarah Mansoor was the top seed player for the tournament while Sarah Mahboob remained number two as per Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) rankings.
Sara Mansoor and Sarah Mahboob faced no noted resistance from their respective opponents in the tournament before they qualify for final of Ladies Singles. Similarly, Ladies Doubles category, Sarah Mahboob pairing with Meheq Khokhar defeated Sara Mansoor and Mahvish Chishtie in final. Both the pairs shown their experience, however, victory belonged to Sarah and Meheq for their better play. This category also received low number of entries.
In Girls U-14 and U-10, young girls shown their commitment to the game and played tennis according to best of their skills and knowledge. Girls U-14 title went to Sheeza Sajid where she defeated her opponent Fatima Ali Raja after a good show. Girls U-10 title went to Zainab Ali with victory over Esha Zia.
Media Singles category was introduced in the event for the media persons to give them exposure and knowledge of the game. Journalists who are members of Rawalpindi Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA) took part in this category’s matches. More than 20 journalists sent their entries in this category. Shah Khalid, Neelum Arshad, Afzal Javed and Arif Mehmood made it to Semifinals and Final was played between Afzal and Arif. Arif Mehmood played well to defeat Afzal Javed to claim the title of this category.
Ladies Singles final was played between Sara Mansoor and Sarah Mahboob on Thursday 27th September. Both players played up to their expectations and reputation and spectators enjoyed their play well. Sarah Mahboob proved to be the better player in the end as she clinched title by winning the final match in straight sets. Sarah Mahboob is a seasoned player who is Pakistan’s national circuit for last many years and have won a number of national tennis title as well. She has been a regular part of Subh-e-Nau’s tennis activities as well and have been the winner of many national titles of SN events prior to this tournament as well.
Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Federal Minister for Interprovincial Coordination (IPC) was the Chief Guest during prize Distribution Ceremony held after Ladies Singles final. She distributed shields certificates and mementoes among players. A total of 2 hundred 50 thousand rupees were distributed as prize money among players
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Fehmida Mirza appreciated Subh-e-Nau for holding exclusive Ladies Tennis event and said that she was impressed with SN bearing the flag of women tennis in Pakistan. She said that she has been a sports person herself and wants to give her best to the cause during her tenure. Dr. Fehmida Mirza said that she was impressed by the categories of Girls U10 and U-14as involving kids in healthy activities will give them encouragement to go further in coming life. She said that sports are essential for everyone especially for females and we need to promote women sports through all means of media and sponsorship. She said that we need to build infrastructure for sports and revive our sports culture at school levels. She appealed corporate sector to come forward and have its share in sports promotion. Federal Minister also said that as sports are essential for us and our coming generations, clean environment is also equally important for them. She said that we need to plant more trees for cleaner and greener environment.
Chairperson Subh-e-nau Shahida Kausar Farooq thanked the Chief Guest, players, officials and sponsors for this successful event. She said that we need to bring our children to sports to give them healthy lives. She said that children should not be allowed to use gadgets in such early ages that they are unable to perform in practical lives. She said that we need more sponsors to continue our efforts. After the closing ceremony, Federal Minister Dr. Fehmida Mirza planted a citrus tree with players and officials. Mr. Taimur Shah, Head Public Sector Deposit North Bank of Punjab, Senator Humayun Saifullah and others also attended the closing ceremony.
Writer: Abdul Aleem Chaudhary
Ladies Tennis Tournament 2018 Pictures