Davis Cup stalwart Aisam Qureshi will look to play another integral role for Pakistan when the nation begins its Asia/Oceania Group II second round tie against New Zealand on Friday.
Flying high at No. 9 in the world in doubles but unranked in singles, the Lahore native will play in Friday’s second singles rubber against world No. 366 Daniel King-Turner before linking up with Yasir Khan in Saturday’s doubles against King-Turner and Marcus Daniell.
The 33-year-old right-hander, who teamed with Jean-Julien Rojer to win the doubles title in Miami last week, reached a career-high of No. 125 in the world six years ago in the individual game and has a strong Davis Cup record in singles with a 32-17 win-loss record.
Qureshi may even be called upon to bring the scores level in the second rubber, with world No. 1574 Khan set to open for Pakistan on Friday with a tough test against No. 455 Artem Sitak. With Pakistan given choice of venue, the tie is being played on the grass courts of the Pun Hlaing Golf & Country Club - a neutral location - in Yangon, Myanmar.
Pakistan and New Zealand are playing for a place in the Group II third round in September, with the winner rewarded with promotion to Asia/Oceania Group I in 2014.
Thailand and Philippines will battle it out to join the winner of that tie. Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul plays Thailand’s opening rubber against Ruben Gonzales on Friday, before world No. 207 Danai Udomchoke takes on Johnny Arcilla in the second singles match.
Meanwhile, Bassam Beidas starts for Lebanon against Sri Lanka’s Dineshkanthan Thangarajah, while Naser Al Obaidly opens for Kuwait against Syria’s Issam Haitham Taweel. All four nations are bidding to keep their heads above water in Asia/Oceania Group II, with the two losing teams relegated to Group III in 2014.
For the full draw from this weekend's Asia/Oceania Zone Group II ties, click the relevant link below:
Pakistan v New Zealand
Thailand v Philippines
Lebanon v Sri Lanka
Kuwait v Syria