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Leander would struggle in singles: Pak captain

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Apr 8 (UNI) Pakistan non-playing captain Rashid Malik today threw down the gauntlet to the Indian captain Leander Paes saying that he would struggle in the reverse singles in the scorching heat, especially if the match stretches to five sets.

After his side losing the doubles match to Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, Malik told reporters here that he had faith in his top two players to prove to be a match for India in the reverse singles.

The Pakistani non-playing captain also said they were looking ahead to the first singles tomorrow and he was confident that his number one player Aisam Quereshi can restore parity in the first match.

''The pressure will be there, but it will be on both the teams and Aisam has handled such type of pressure before and knows what to do in such situations.'' He futher said if Aisam is able to win his reverse singles, then it would act as a catalyst for Aqeel Khan who would then have the confidence to go all out and try his best against whoever he plays, be it Paes or Rohan Bopanna.

On today's match, Rashid said he had expected the match to be easy for India, adding that they rested their top two players because they could be fully fit and ready for tomorrow's matches.

Meanwhile, Leander Paes said he was extremely happy with the clinical performance he and Bhupathi put up today. ''It is our 19th Davis Cup doubles victory and this holds significance for us to extend our Indian record for most double wins in Davis Cup,'' Paes said.

He also said it was great to finish off the match early ''so that we can conserve our energy for tomorrow.'' On tomorrow's singles, Paes said they have three good singles' players fit and raring to go. ''We have a 2-1 lead and therefore, the pressure will be on Pakistan to deliver,'' he said.


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