Pakistan tennis prodigy Syed Nofil Kaleem continues to rule the roost in the under-14 category of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF). The latest rankings showed that the Islamabad native remains comfortably atop the continental rankings in his age group, making him the first Pakistani tennis player to become Asiaâ€™s Under-14 champion. For the season he totalled 1,365 points in eight tournaments, winning two ATF singles titles, and finishing runner-up in three, in addition to claiming three doubles titles. The duo of Kaleem and Dawer Rehan recently clinched the juniorsâ€™ doubles title in a tournament held at Islamabad.
Kaleem finished way ahead of Alberto Jr Lim of Philippine, who has secured 1,060 points while Thailandâ€™s Vorachon Ragpuongchon is placed third with 783 points. Three other Pakistanis are further back in the rankings: Sahibzada Ali (417 points) ranked number 15, Abdal Hyder (324 points) ranked number 23, and Muhahid Ali Khan (305 points) ranked 27th.
Kaleem has improved so much that he has started appearing in junior and menâ€™s events rather than Under-14 events. â€œIâ€™m now eyeing the ITF juniors circuit and intend to feature in Jordan, South Africa, Kuwait, Bahrain and Colombo,â€ Nofil told Dawn. Pakistanâ€™s top menâ€™s singles player, Aqeel Khan recently took note of Kaleemâ€™s talent. Pakistanâ€™s most noteworthy tennis player remains doubles specialist Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi.