DOUBLES specialist Aisam Qureshi won a crucial singles match, defeating Patrick John Tierro, 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, to give Pakistan a 3-2 win in its Asia/Oceania Group II tie on Sunday at the Philippine Columbian Association courts in Manila.
Qureshi, rated No. 27 in the world doubles rankings, was sent in for Samir Ifthikar for the final singles match and completed Pakistan’s comeback in front of a disappointed Filipino crowd.
The Pakistanis won the tie after Johnny Arcilla dropped a one-set lead and was forced to retire with an ankle injury in the match with Aqeel Khan, with the score at 4-6, 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, 5-1.
Qureshi actually began the comeback of the Pakistanis on Saturday when he teamed up with Aqeel Khan to beat Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales, 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.
The Philippines lost a golden opportunity to advance into the Group II finals after Tierro and Gonzales won the first two singles matches on Friday.
But the Pakistanis swept the final three matches to advance.
Arcilla lost a heartbreaker as he appeared to be on the verge of giving the Philippines the victory after winning the third set, 6-2. But fatigue set in for the many-time PCA Open champion before going down with the injury.