Monday, 20 June 2011

Malaysia finish fourth

The national Davis Cup team finished fourth in the Asia/Oceania Group III after going down 2-1 to Vietnam in Colombo on Sunday.
Their successive defeat to Vietnam since the 2009 Laos Sea Games does not augur well ahead of the upcoming 2011 edition in Indonesia.
Sri Lanka defeated Lebanon 3-0 to lift the title.

Result - Vietnam 2 Malaysia 1 (Le Quoc-Khanh lost to Si Yew Ming 3-6, 3-6; Tran Thanh-Hoang bt Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam 2-6, 6-3, 6-0; Do Minh Quan-Ngo Quang Huy bt Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak-Nazim Khan 6-0, 7-6 (7-4).

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Malaysia remain in Group III

THE national Davis Cup team failed to achieve their target of earning promotion from Group III after losing 2-1 to Sri Lanka in the Asia/Oceania tie in Colombo on Saturday.
Oshada Wijemanne earned the opening point for Sri Lanka with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over National No 1 Si Yew Meng before Harshana Godamanna hammered Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam 6-1, 6-2 to give the hostsan unassailable 2-0 lead.
Yew Meng-Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak then reduced the deficit by overcoming Rajeev Rajapakse-Thangarajah Dineshkanthan 6-4, 6-2 in the doubles.
Joining Sri Lanka into Group II next year will be Lebanon, who thrashed Vietnam 3-0 on Saturday.
Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) executive secretary Ibrahim Abu Bakar was not disappointed despite the team’s failure to achieve their target.
“Our players played their hearts out in every tie. The exposure in Sri Lanka has definitely helped the players gain some match experience,” said Ibrahim yesterday.
The tennis fraternity were expecting more from the Davis Cup players after undergoing systematic training in Barcelona and Jakarta before the Davis Cup.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Malaysia overcome food poisoning to progress

DESPITE in their weakened state due to food poisoning, the national Davis Cup team have safely progressed into the winner’s pool at the ongoing Asia/Oceania Group III event in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Apart from Malaysia, players from the United Arab Emi rates (UAE), Lebanon and Kuwait have also fallen sick, after eating at the Ceylon Continental Hotel, the tournament’s official hotel, in Colombo.
Concerned teams have lodged a complaint to the or ganisers on this matter.
Malaysia finished second in Group B behind Lebanon, after earning wins over UAE (2-1) and Oman (2-1). They lost 3-0 to Lebanon in their final group match.
According to Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) executive-secretary Ibrahim Abu Bakar, the entire national team suffered food poisoning on June 15, a day before playing Oman.
National No 1 Si Yew Ming, Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam, Nazim Khan and Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak are the members of the national Davis Cup team in Sri Lanka.
“Nazim was the worst affected as he had to withdraw from his singles match against Oman. The others suffered minor complications and were able to complete their matches,” said Ibrahim yesterday.
“According to team captain Deen Heshaam Tan Abdullah, the players are under medication. We are now deeply concerned as food poisoning can affect a player’s strength,” said Ibrahim.
Malaysia will now compete against Group A champions Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Lebanon for promotion into Group II next year.
As the tournament’s past results are carried forward, Malaysia will not face Lebanon in the pool.
It means the team must beat Sri Lanka and Vietnam to finish among the top two teams for promotion.
Ibrahim hopes the team will regain their strength in time for their matches.
“We hope they will be able to earn promotion. It will however, depend on how fast they can recover from their illness,” he added.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Sri Lanka win second tie

Despite shifting to hard courts, Sri Lanka continued to dominate at the Asia/Oceania Group III BNP Paribas Davis Cup Tournament defeating Myanmar 3/nil in the second tie that was completed just before dusk at the SLTA courts at Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha on Thursday.
Once again it was Oshada Wijemanne who took to court for the first single match against Phyo Min Thar. Wijemanne won both sets comfortably 6/2, 6/1 and seemed to be at ease playing in hard courts.
Wijemanne played impeccable tennis and his powerful serves proved too much for Min Thar.
The second singles saw Harshana Godamanna take on Nge Hnaung. Although giving away four points in the first set Godamanne settled down and adjusted his pattern of play to suit the hard courts. Godamanna won 6/4, 6/2 to seal the tie on 2/nil.
Godamanna is also more familiar with hard courts. However he trained on clay courts for over two weeks running up to this tie and naturally had to adjust his game to get his timing correct.
The management decided to field Godamanna and Rajiv Rajapakse for the doubles match as well so that Godamanna could acclimatise himself with hard court conditions. It was Dineshkanthan who was down to play in the doubles match with Rajapakse.
Myanmar’s pair of Zaw Zaw Latt, who is familiar with conditions in Sri Lanka having coached here for some time, and Phyo Min Thar could not match the speed of Godamanna and Rajapakse. Sri Lanka won the match 6/4, 6/3 and gained the confidence that is much needed to take on Kuwait in their tie today.
Rajapakse said that they were not happy about switching to hard courts after having practised for so long on clay. However, they have now adjusted quickly enough and are feeling confident that they will fare better in the rest of the fixtures. However, Kuwait is yet to finish their match against Vietnam and interestingly Kuwait are held 1/all and the doubles will be continued this morning if weather holds good.
Lebanon beat UAE 2/1 with the Lebanese doubles pair offering a walk-over before it could finish. Malaysia who beat UAE 2/1 in an earlier match was playing against Oman in a game that is to be continued today.


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Rain halts Malaysia-UAE tie

The UAE and Malaysia were tied 1-1 at the end of their Asia/Oceania Zone Group III Davis Cup encounter being played in Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
UAE youngster Hamad Abbas Al Janahi started off well, but went down 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 against his opponent from Malaysia, while the UAE’s top player Omar Behroozian rallied from a set down to win his match and put the tie 1-1.
With both teams set to play the doubles, rain intervened and the match had to be shifted for an early start on Thursday.
The UAE’s next opponent in Pool B will be known depending on the result of today’s doubles. Should they win, the UAE will play Oman – who were trailing Lebanon 0-2 after losing both their singles. And if they lose, they will have to face Lebanon.
“We could have had a lot of pressure off ourselves if Hamad had managed to win his match,” playing captain Mahmoud Khalifa told Gulf News from Colombo.
“But we still have our chances against Malaysia. We have to go out there and win the doubles,” he added.
The eight teams will be playing on a round-robin basis after which the top two nations in each pool will advance to a new ‘promotion’ pool to contest for honours to see which two teams earn a promotion to the Asia/Oceania Zone Group II for 2012.
The bottom two nations in each pool will be placed in a new ‘relegation’ pool with the last two nations in this pool getting relegated to Asia/Oceania Zone Group IV for next season.

Group A: Sri Lanka 3 Vietnam 0, Kuwait 3 Myanmar 0; Group B: Malaysia 1 UAE 1, Lebanon 2 Oman 0.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Waiting on a top five player

AFTER the resounding success of last year's Malaysian Open, the ATP World Tour 250 tournament will return to Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil on Sept 24-Oct 3.
The tournament, which is one of only five World Tour stops in Asia, carries a total prize money of US$947,750 (RM2.9 million) and features a 28-player singles main draw and 16 doubles.
Russia's World No 17 Mikhail Youzhny, the defending champion, and compatriot Nikolay Davydenko, who won the 2009 inaugural competition, are both expected to be in Kuala Lumpur.
This year's event will likely feature one top five ATP player and new faces who are making a name on the world stage.
"We are planning to bring one top five player but it is not easy as these players have a tight schedule," said tournament director Nick Freyer at the unveiling of Wilson as the tournament's official tennis equipment supplier in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
"Hopefully, we will get one of the top three names in tennis but when that will happen, I can't say. I will be at Wimbledon to meet these players."
Freyer, who is also IMG senior vice-president, said a fresh face who is already a top player, has agreed to compete in the Malaysian Open.
"I will make an official announcement soon. On other players, a lot will depend on the results of the Davis Cup. If everything goes well, we will get the best in this tournament," he said.
Two qualifying singles wild cards will be allocated to local players. A local player will join forces with an international ATP World Tour star in the doubles main draw, courtesy of a main draw wild card.
In last year's tournament, Nazim Khan, who is in Sri Lanka for the Davis Cup, paired with Davydenko in the doubles.
"I have noticed a big improvement in the standard of local players at last year's tournament. I really hope those selected will do better this time," said Freyer.
IMG also announced yesterday a ticketing strategy with features which include unreserved free seating at one ticket price.
Tickets for the Malaysia Open are available now at or - NST

Oman struck by food poisoning

Oman's preparations for the Davis Cup clash in Sri Lanka have been hampered by an outbreak of food poisoning, according to the team's captain Siddiq al Hashmi. Hashmi said three other teams staying at the Ceylon Continental Hotel in Colombo have also been affected by the illness ahead of the Asia-Oceania Zone Group III competition, which begins in the Sri Lankan capital on Wednesday. Apart from Oman and host Sri Lanka, the other participating teams are Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, UAE and Vietnam.
“We are facing a tough time here,” Hashmi told Muscat Daily on the phone from Colombo. “We arrived in Sri Lanka a week before the tournament to get acclimatised to the conditions, but unfortunately things have gone wrong. Apart from me, both our important players - the Nabhani brothers Khalid and Mohammed - have fallen sick due to the food here.”
According to Hashmi, the other two members of the team - Abdullah al Balushi and Khalid al Barwani, who joined the team three days later - are fine, having been cautioned about the food upon their arrival on Saturday. “We advised both Abdullah and Khalid not to eat at the hotel where we are staying as it may affect them as well,” said Hashmi.
It's not only the Omani players who are suffering, said Hashmi. Players from Kuwait, Lebanon and the UAE have also fallen sick. Officials from the countries with ill players have now lodged a formal complaint against the organisers of the tournament. All of the visiting teams are staying at the same hotel, while the Sri Lankan players are staying elsewhere.
Hashmi said, “Like Oman, teams from the other Arabian countries also came here well in advance to get used to the situation. Along with three Kuwaiti players, their coach has also fallen sick. I have been in Sri Lanka three times before but this is the first time I am facing something like this. We have lodged an official complaint with the organisers.”
The Oman captain said the players are still recovering as they continue to prepare for the tournament.
“I took Khalid to a local hospital on Monday. He along with Mohammed is still recovering. We are hoping everything will be fine soon and the organisers will take appropriate action to sort out the issue,” he said.
The draw for the clay court tournament will take place on Tuesday with the eight nations set to compete in a round-robin format in two pools. The top two nations from each pool will progress to the promotion group. The winner and runner-up from this group will earn promotion into the Asia-Oceania Zone Group II for 2012. The bottom two nations in each pool will slip into the relegation group, from which the last two teams will be relegated to Group IV. - source

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Malaysia, second seeds

MALAYSIA are the second seeds in the upcoming Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group III in Sri Lanka.
LTAM executive secretary Ibrahim Abu Bakar hopes the seeding will give the team a good draw in the group stages.
“We were seeded because one (Ariez Elyaas) of our players earned ATP rankings points in a recent tournament in Thailand,” said Ibrahim, a former radio announcer recently.
“Our team have been preparing hard for the Davis Cup. Except for Yew Ming, the others are below 21-years-old.
“I hope the local tennis fraternity will support our young team.”
Davis Cup captain Deen Heshaam Tan Abdullah together with his son, Ariez, Si Yew Ming, Ahmad Deedat Razak and Nazim Khan are in Sri Lanka for the event, which will be played on clay.
The tournament, scheduled from June 15-19, will be played at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association in Colombo.

Pool A

Kuwait: Abdullah Maqdas, Mohammad Ghareeb, Ali Ghareeb, Abdul Rahman Alawadhi, Abdul Redha A H Alshatti (captain)
Sri Lanka: Harshana Godammana, Oshada Wijemanne, Thangarajah Dineshkanthan, Rajeev Rajapakee, Aasiri Iddamalgoda (captain)
Vietnam: Thanh Trung Hoang, Quan Do Minh, Le Quoc Khanh, Huy Ngo Quang, Truong Quoc Bao (captain)
Myanmar: Aung Kyaw Naing, Phyo Min Thar, Nge Hnaung, Zaw Zaw Latt, Min Min (captain)

Pool B

Malaysia: Si Yen Ming, Ariez Elyas Deen Heesham, Mohamed Nazim Mahmud Khan, Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak, Deen Heshaam Tan Abdullah (captain)
Oman: Mohammed Al Nabhani, Khalid Al Nabhani, Abdul Malik Al Awfi, Khalid Hamdi Al Barwani, Siddiq Al Hashmi (captain)
Lebanon: Bassam Beidas, Giovani Samaha, Karim Alayli, Patrick Chucri, Hussein Badreddine (captain)
UAE: Omar Bahrouzyan Awadhi, Khaled Al Hossani, Faisal Bastaki, Hamad Abbas Janahi, Mahmoud Khalifa Al Balushi (captain)

UAE not aiming high

UAE aren’t aiming high in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group III in Sri Lanka, which starts later this week.
The squad, led by coach Jorge Munoz along with Omar Behroozian (picture), Hamad Abbas Al Janahi, Khalid Al Hassaini and Faisal Bastaki will be more than happy if they can avoid relegation.
"This is going to be a huge challenge for us, but I think we are mentally ready to take on the best and prove we are good enough to remain in Group III," Behroozian told Gulf News recently.
"The training camp in France has been helpful and that helped us get adjusted to clay so that we can be among the genuine contenders in Sri Lanka.”
Behroozian and Al Janahi spent three weeks in Nice last month.
Technically, UAE will be required to win at least two of their encounters in order to stay in Group III for another season, and with teams like Myanmar and Oman — whom they have beaten in the past — they stand a better chance of retaining their place.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Yew Ming leads Davis Cup team

Si Yew Ming will lead the national Davis Cup team in the Asia/Oceania Group III event in Sri Lanka on June 15-19.
Joining him are former Sukma champion Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam, Nazim Khan and Ahmad Deedat Abd Razak. The four players were selected after a short training stint on clay in Senayan, Jakarta.
Deen Heshaam Tan Abdullah, who has been named as the team captain, decided on the team.
Yew Ming, who has been dominant in the local circuit, will be counted on to deliver points in the Group III event, which is on clay. Ariez Elyaas is making only his second Davis Cup appearance while the rest are first-timers.
Despite selecting an inexperience squad, Deen Heshaam, in a recent interview with Timesport, is confident the team will earn promotion.
The tournament will see eight countries Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and host Sri Lanka fighting it out for promotion to the Group II in 2012.
The teams will be divided into two groups. The top two in each group will then play in a new promotion round robin which will culminate with the two highest placed nations being promoted to Group II.
The bottom two teams in each group in the first stage will contest in a new relegation round robin pool which will end with the bottom two teams being relegated to Group IV in 2012.
According to local observers, LTAM has taken a risk by opting an untested squad for the Davis Cup III event.
“It will be tough for them to earn promotion. In fact, it would be an achievement if they stay in Group III. I think the team will be fighting to avoid relegation. Kuwait are favourites,” said a former Davis Cup player.

The teams
Kuwait – Abdullah Maqdas, Mohammad Guareeb, Ali Guareeb, Hasan Almousa, Abdul Redha and A.H. Ashatti (captain).
Lebanon – Bassam Beidas, Giovani Samaha, Karim Alayli, Patrick Chicri and Hussein Badreddine (captain).
Malaysia – Si Yen Ming, Ariez Elyas Deen Heesham, Mohamed Nazim Khan, Mahmud Khan, Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak and Deen Heshaam Tan Abdullah (captain).
Myanmar – Aung Kyaw Naing, Phyo Min Thar, Nge Hnaung, Zaw Zaw Latt and Min Min (captain).
Oman – Mohammed Al Nabhani, Khalid Al Nabhani, Abdullah Mohamed Ibrahim Al Balushi, Khalid Hamdi Hilal Al-Barwani and Siddiq Al Hashmi (captain).
United Arab Emirates – Omar Khaled Hashem, Bahrouzyan Awadhi, Mohamed Nader Ali Baloushi, Hamad Abbas Janahi and Mohamoud Khalifa AlBalushi (captain).
Vietnam – Thanh Trung Hoang, Quan Do Minh, Le Quoc Khanh. Huy Ngo Quang and Truong Quoc Bao (captain).
Sri Lanka – Harshana Godamanne, Oshada Wijemanne, Thangarajah Dineshkanthan, Vimuktha de Alwis, Rajeev Rajapakse and Asiri Iddamalgoda (captain)

* team list picked up from


Friday, 10 June 2011

Er Yan and Jawairiah power Negri to overall title

KHOO Er Yang and Jawairiah Noordin carried Negri Sembilan to the Malaysian Games overall Malaysia Games tennis title at the National Tennis Centre (NTC) in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday
Negri dominated with a haul of five gold and five bronze medals followed by Selangor (2-5-2) and Federal Territories (0-2-5).
Er Yang, who turns 17 on Aug 25, got his revenge over Juan Antonio Los Santos by beating the Selangor star 6-3, 6-1 for the men's singles gold medal, while Jawairiah hammered Selangor's Alyssa Boey 6-1, 6-1 to retain her women's crown for the third successive time.
But Er Yang's victory yesterday could be his last in a major competition as the Seremban-born player now wants to concentrate on his studies.
"I have decided to stop playing on the ITF world junior circuit as I will be sitting for SPM later in the year. I will keep training for local events. I am still unsure on whether to pursue a professional career in tennis or concentrate on studies. I will decide after my exams," said Er Yang at NTC.
Compatriot Jawairiah added another gold to her name by winning the mixed doubles with national singles champion Syed Agil Syed Naguib. The Negri pair edged Los Santos-S. Theiviya 6-1, 4-6, 10-4.
Jawairiah, the national champion, will now re-launch her career by competing on the WTA Tour once again. The 21-year-old will be funded by the National Sports Council (NSC).
"It's my dream to be among the top 300 players in the world. I hope to achieve it in my second try on the tour. I will start playing in it in August.
"I've wasted two years of my career by just playing in local tournaments. I hope my second try will be a successful one," said Jawairiah, who will be ready to represent the country in the Indonesia Sea Games, if selected by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM).

RESULTS (All Finals) -- Men's singles: Khoo Er Yang (NS) bt Juan Antonio Santos (Sel) 6-3, 6-1; bronze: Wan Abdul Muiz (FT) and Mohd Faeez Said (NS).

Doubles: Syed Agil Syed Naguib-Fazree Said (NS) bt Marcus Chee-Kevin Loke (FT) 6-2, 7-5; bronze: Syed Ariffin Syed Naguib-Mohd Faeez Said (NS) and Ahmad Fauzan-Sean Yip (FT).

Women's singles: Jawairiah Noordin (NS) bt Alyssa Boey (Sel) 6-1, 6-1; bronze: Ti Jia Wei (Pah) and R. Archnaah (Sel).

Doubles: S. Theiviya-Adelle Boey (Sel) bt Alyssa Boey-R. Archnaah (Sel) 3-2 (rtd); bronze: Delizavernne Kaur-Ti Jia Min (Pah) and Ti Jia Wei-Nur Eliza Khairul (Pah).

Mixed doubles: Syed Agil Syed Naguib-Jawairiah Noordin (NS) bt Juan Antonio Los Santos- S. Theiviya 6-1, 4-6, 10-4; bronze: Marcus Chee-Tan Jia Yi (KL) and Kevin Loke-Hyda Yazmin (KL).

Monday, 6 June 2011

Jawairiah still a class above

JAWAIRIAH Noordin, the undisputed national champion, has yet to meet her match on the local tennis scene for over five years.
And it will be tough for any local player to put a dent in Jawairiah’s hopes in retaining her women’s singles gold medal in her last Malaysia Games outing.
The 21-year-old, who is representing Negri Sembilan, started her campaign with an effortless 6-0, 6-2 victory over Perlis’ Sharifah Syafeenaz in the first round at the National Tennis Centre in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The top seed next plays Malacca’s Chan Jia Qi, who beat Kedah’s Ku Hazlina 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), in today’s quarter-finals.
The former Sea Games medalist, will team up with national men’s champion Syed Agil Syed Naguib in the mixed doubles.
Despite being the undisputed local champion, Jawairiah has not represented the country since last year’s Fed Cup Qualifiers in Kuala Lumpur, which does not augur well for her hopes to make a name for herself in WTA Tour competitions.
Since last year’s Fed Cup, Jawairiah together with other top local women players, have not been invited to represent the country in international competitions.
With Jawairiah on board, Negri are the firm favourites to win the women’s singles and mixed doubles titles. They are also strong contenders in other individual competitions.
“Those selected for the Davis Cup are in Indonesia for training. The tennis competition would have been more exciting if they were around,” said Azam yesterday.
“We have the best players in the competition. Selangor, however, could spoil our hopes in some events.”

Selected results — Men’s singles, 2nd rd: Khoo Er Yang (NS) bt Mu’az Azahar (Ter) 6-1, 6-1; Colin Wong (Sel) bt Lukman Hakim (Joh) 6-4, 6-1; Faeez Said (NS) bt Faiz Dine (Mal) 6-1, 6-3; Juan Antonio Los Santos (Sel) bt Chia Chen Dong (Pg) 6-0, 6-2.
Women’s singles: Jawairiah Noordin (NS) bt Sharifah Syafeenaz (Per) 6-0, 6-2; Alyssa Boey (Sel) bt Ong Xie (Mal) 6-0, 6-0; Ti Jia Wei (Pah) bt Farah Hamima (Ked) 6-1, 6-1; R. Archnaah (Sel) bt Delizavernne Kaur (Phg) 7-5, 6-2.

Calculated risk, rewarded

SELANGOR took a risk by fielding their young players in the women’s team final at the National Tennis Centre (NTC) in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
But it turned out to be the right decision as Selangor retained their gold medal with ease by thrashing Pahang 2-0.
Federal Territories and Perlis, who finished runners-up in Group X and Y respectively, were the bronze medallists.
Coach S. Selvarajoo made a calculative move by resting United States-based T. Neesha in order to play his daughter Theiviya in the first singles and Alyssa Boey, a finalist atlast year’s National Hardcourt Championships,in the second individual match.
Both did not disappoint as they impressed with Theiviya beating Ti Jia Wei 6-3, 6-0 while 15-year-old Alyssa outplayed 1 4 - year - o l d Delizavernne Kaur 6-0, 6-2.
“I rested Neesha because she had problems with the humidity in previous matches. I did not want to risk fielding her in the final,” said Selvarajoo.
“Sometimes a coach has to make difficult decisions. Neesha is our best player but I had to leave her out today (yesterday). I amhappy that my other players did well in her absence.
I am sure she will be happy with the team’s s u c c e s s. ”
Selvarajoo also confirmed that Neesha will not represent the team in the women’s individual competitions which starts today.
Theiviya will team up with Adelle Boey in the women’s doubles and also partner Juan Antonio Los Santos in the mixed doubles while Alyssa and 15-year-old R. Archnaah will play s i n g l e s.
Los Santos and Colin Wong, who both received first round byes, will start their men’s singles campaign today while Hanifah Rahizam-Zaki Pauzi will play doubles.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

National Circuit now in Malacca.

THE fourth leg of the National Circuit will not be played at the National Tennis Centre in Jalan Duta. The event, scheduled for June 24-28, will now be organised in Malacca.
According to LTAM executive-secretary Ibrahim Abu Bakar, the reason behind the change of venue is to promote tennis outside the Klang Valley.
However, many part-time and full-time tennis players are contemplating to skip the tournament.
“Why should I spend my money on accommodation and transport for a tournament, which offers insufficient prize money. It is also useless playing in local tournaments as being among the top ranked players will not guarantee you a place in the national team,” said a former national player.

My crystal ball says...something is not right....

Faeez leads Negri to team title

FAEEZ Said (pix) led Negri Sembilan to victory in the Malaysia Games men's team tennis final by thrashing Federal Territories 2-0 at the National Tennis Centre on Saturday
The 17-year-old was in near perfect form as he hammered Sean Yip 6-3, 6-0 before compatriot Khoo Er Yang thrashed Wan Abdul Muiz 6-0, 6-2 to give Negri an unassailable 2-0 lead.
The Sabah-born Faeez said he was delighted to help his adopted state win the title.
"Sean played brilliantly but I managed to contain him throughout the match. Overall, I am happy to play an instrumental role in Negri's victory today (yesterday)," said Faeez, who represented Sabah in last year's Malaysia Games edition in Pahang.
"It is my first ever Malaysia Games medal but I hope to add another in the men's doubles together with Syed Ariffin Syed Naguib."
In the semi-finals, Negri edged Selangor 2-1 while Kuala Lumpur defeated Terengganu 3-0.
In the women's team event, Selangor and Pahang eased into the final by recording their second straight victory in their respective groups yesterday.
Selangor, the defending champions, are expected to retain their title today.
But coach S. Selvarajoo is expected to re-shuffle his team against Pahang.
"I may opt to drop one or two players, who have been rather erratic in the group stage, for the final. Pahang have several players with talent. We need to be careful," said Selvarajoo.
Pahang are led by Selangor-born Delizavernne Kaur, the younger sister of top junior players Pearljit Singh and Duzbionjit Singh.
Delizavernne opted to play for Pahang as she was not considered to represent Selangor.

RESULTS -- Men's s-finals: Negri Sembilan 2 Selangor 1, Federal Territories 3 Terengganu 0;
Final: Negri Sembilan 2 Federal Territories 0.

Women's Group X: Pahang 3 Federal Territories 0, Malacca 0 Federal Territories 3; Group X: Kedah 0 Selangor 3, Perlis 3 Kedah 0.

Colin hopes to win gold on his debut

COLIN Wong (pix) is now more confident with his tennis after making the singles semi-finals of a Barcelona circuit tournament during his recent training stint at the Albert Portas Academy.
The 15-year-old hopes it will be enough to help Selangor clinch the boys' team gold medal in the Malaysia Games tennis competition at the National Tennis Centre (NTC) in Kuala Lumpur.
Colin, who is making his Malaysia Games debut, is one of the most talented junior players in the country.
The student of SMK Kota Kemuning will decide by the end of the year whether to give full concentration on tennis.
"The stint in Barcelona has helped my game in many ways. I am physically and mentally stronger compared to before," said Colin on Friday.
"I will decide after my PMR examinations on whether I should play tennis full-time. As for now, I am just going with the flow."
Selangor coach S. Selvarajoo confirmed yesterday that Colin together with Juan Antonio Los Santos will play singles when they face the star-studded Negri Sembilan side in the semi-finals today.
Negri, led by national champion Syed Agil Syed Naguib and Khoo Er Yang, are the favourites in this tie.
In yesterday's quarter-finals, Colin clinched Selangor's winning point in their 2-1 win over minnows Johor.
Colin gave Selangor an unassailable 2-0 lead by thrashing Lukman Hakim Aziz 6-2, 6-2 after compatriot Los Santos had beaten Zulfahmi Salamat 6-2,6-0.
Negri earned their semi-final ticket by overcoming Pahang 2-1. The other semi-final pits Federal Territories, led by Marcus Chee, against newcomers Terengganu.
The gold medallist in the boys' team will also be decided today.


Preliminary round - Boys' Group A: Perlis 1 Perak 2, Group B: Kedah 0 Federal Territories 3, Group C: Terengganu 2 Kelantan 1, Group D: Sabah 2 Penang 1, Malacca 2 Pahang 1.

Girls' Group A: Perak 0 Federal Territories 3, Group B: Kedah 2 Malacca 1, Group C: Pahang 2 Penang 1, Sabah 0 Perlis 3.

Second round - Boys' q-finals: Selangor 2 Johor 1, Negri Sembilan 2 Pahang 1, Federal Territories 2 Perak 1, Terengganu 2 Malacca 1.

Girls' Group X: Pahang 3 Malacca 0, Group Y: Selangor 2 Perlis 1.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Los Santos aims to go pro

JUAN Antonio Los Santos is aiming to become Malaysia's most successful tennis player.
The 18-year-old will begin his professional career after the ongoing Malaysia Games, where he hopes to earn ATP ranking points before the end of the year.
"I will start pursing my dreams by competing in the Futures (lower-tier level professional events). I will give myself six years to make it big," said Los Santos, who is representing Selangor in the Malaysia Games.
"It is not important to become the national No 1 as it won't take you anywhere. "I am only interested to put Malaysia on the world tennis map."
Los Santos is feared by many players for his big serve and strong forehand and backhand.
"I've to admit that my fitness is lacking. It is something that I need to address seriously before pursuing my professional dream," he said.
Los Santos began playing tennis at 10 under the guidance of former national champion S. Selvarajoo. He soon rose to fame by becoming the No 1 ranked Asian Under-14 player before winning two ITF titles in Brunei and Singapore in 2007.
But the youngster quit the sport abruptly after last December's National Hardcourt Championships before returning to the courts in last month's National Circuit third leg, where he lost in the final to Si Yew Meng.


Boys' Group A-- Negri Sembilan 3 Perlis 0, Negri Sembilan 3 Perak 0; Group B - Selangor 3 Kedah 0, Selangor 1 Federal Territories 2; Group C - Johor 3 Terengganu 0, Johor 2 Kelantan 1; Group D - Sabah 2 Malacca 1, Pahang 2 Penang 1, Sabah 1 Pahang 2, Malacca 3 Penang 0.

Girls' Group A - Selangor 3 Perak 0, Selangor 3 Federal Territories 0; Group B - Negri Sembilan 1 Kedah 2, Negri Sembilan 1 Malacca 2; Group C -- Pahang 3 Sabah 0, Perlis 2 Penang 1, Pahang 2 Perlis 1, Sabah 1 Penang 2.

Negri, Selangor out to stake claim as the best

TENNIS fans can expect a fiery battle between Negri Sembilan and Selangor in the Malaysia Games competition in Kuala Lumpur today.
Negri Sembilan, led by national men's and women's champions, Syed Agil Syed Naguib and Jawairiah Noordin, are good for five gold medals - men's team, singles, doubles, women's singles and mixed doubles.
Selangor, spearheaded by comeback kid Juan Antonio Los Santos and T. Neesha, are favourites in the women's team and doubles competitions.
Syed Agil and teammate Khoo Er Yang, together with Los Santos and Kuala Lumpur's Marcus Chee, are expected to battle it out for the men's singles title.
In the women's singles, Jawairiah and Neesha, the top two players in the country, are the favourites for the gold medal.
Selangor coach S. Selvarajoo said his team are good for two gold medals in the competition. "We will effortlessly win the women's team event.
"The other gold medal could come from either the women's doubles or mixed doubles.
"However, I also expect my players to make an impression in other events. Overall, Negri and Selangor are favourites but KL could surprise."
The Selangor team comprise Muhd Zaki Pauzi, Joshua Jordan, Los Santos, Colin Wong, Hanifah Rahizam (boys), Neesha, S. Theiviya, Adelle Boey, Alyssa Boey and R. Archnaah (girls).
The men's and women's team competition start today.

GROUPINGS - Boys' Group A: Negri Sembilan, Perlis, Perak; Group B: Selangor, Kedah, Federal Territories; Group C: Johor, Terengganu, Kelantan; Group D: Sabah, Malacca, Pahang, Penang.

Girls' Group A: Selangor, Perak, Federal Territories; Group B: Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Malacca, Group C: Pahang, Sabah, Perlis, Penang.

Sarawak will not defend Games title

DEFENDING champions Sarawak have withdrawn from the Malaysia Games tennis event, which starts today, at the National Tennis Centre (NTC) in Kuala Lumpur.
It is a surprise move by the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) considering that they won the overall title last year in Malacca quite easily.
The SLTA development programme is also one of the best in the country as it has been producing junior players with potential of late.
SLTA president Datuk Patrick Liew said it would not have been cost-effective if the association brought back its overseas players for the Malaysia Games.
"We prepare our players on a two-year cycle. As we had won the overall title in last year's edition, we were looking forward to defend it next year," said Patrick when contacted in Kuching on Tuesday.
"The Malaysia Games is an important affair for sports development.
"However, our main goal for now is to help our state-level players attain international exposure."
Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam, who won the men's singles title in last year's Malaysia Games and Chong Zhia Hwa are with the national Davis Cup team while Kuching-born Assri Merzuki is based in the United States.