Friday, 30 September 2011

Jawairiah earns Sea Games ticket

JAWARIAH Noordin will make her return to international tennis at the Indonesia Sea Games after winning a trial conducted by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) on Wednesday.
Jawairiah’s last international assignment was in last year’s Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Qualifiers, where Malaysia finished fourth in Division Two.
The Malaysia Games champion together with Si Yew Ming will compete under ‘Category A’ in the men’s and women’s singles and mixed doubles in Indonesia.
LTAM executive secretary Ibrahim Abu Bakar said the association will not be sending its other players for the Sea Games due to cost factor.
At the Laos Sea Games, Jawairiah led Malaysia to a bronze medal in the women’s team.

Nishikori wins battle of pain

JAPAN'S Kei Nishikori won an epic battle in pain while top seed Nicolas Almargo and Viktor Troicki both hit form at Putra Stadium to reach the ATP Malaysian Open quarter-finals yesterday.
Nishikori recovered from a second set blemish to edge Germany's World No 66 Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in a match, which both players were struggling to hold serve, to make his fifth quarter-final appearance of the season.
The 21-year-old suffered muscle strain issues in his leg in the first set and had to call for the trainer for treatment before resuming play.
The World No 54 was struggling with the German's slice and drop shots throughout the match but managed to get the deciding break in the 11th game of the third set before winning the next game in deuce to clinch the match.
"I struggled with his slice shots but overcame it by playing aggressive in the third set. I worked really hard yesterday (Wednesday) by practising with my coach to counter Petzschner's game," said Nishikori yesterday.
"In the second set, I broke his serve first but lost my confidence and thus missed easy shots. This tough victory definitely gives me the self-belief for my following matches."
"I hope my muscle strain is not serious as I need to return to court tomorrow (today). It is important that I get enough rest."
Almargo, the World No 11 Spaniard, who received a first round bye, battled past training partner and compatriot Albert Ramos 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4) to tee-up a first-ever meeting against Nishikori today.
"I will need to play hard and most importantly serve better against Nishikori. I know that he played three sets today (yesterday) and just maybe I will be fresher on court tomorrow (today)," said Almargo.
Troicki, the World No 15, saved all three break points he faced to knock out Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-1, 6-4 in 79 minutes.
"The first set I played pretty good, controlling that part of the match. The second set was pretty equal. I was just a bit more focused at the end to make a break to win the match," he said.
Troicki will hope to extend his winning streak to four matches when he faces seventh-seeded Russian Dmitry Tursunov today.
"I know what to expect him but it would be easy as he is hitting the ball a lot better here," said Troicki.
Former champion Nikolay Davdenko overcame a tough second set to defeat Poland's Lukasz Kubot 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) in the pair's first meeting since 2006.
"At 5-2 down in the second set, I was already thinking about the third set. I was just fighting for the points and was able to come back and win it in two sets. Sometimes it happens that way," said Davydenko, who faces Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic for a place in the semi-finals today.
Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis is coincidently the first ever wild card player to reach the quarter-finals in the tournament's history, where he faces Austria's fourth seed Jurgen Melzer.

Men's singles 2nd rd: Viktor Troicki (Srb) bt Denis Istomin (Uzb) 6-1, 6-4; Nikolay Davydenko (Rus) bt Lukas Kubot (Pol) 6-3, 7-6 (7-2); Kei Nishikori (Jpn) bt Philipp Petzschner (Ger) 6-3, 4-6, 7-5; Nicolas Almagro (Spa) bt Albert Ramos (Spa) 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-4); Janko Tipsarevic (Ita) bt Flavio Cipolla (Ita) 6-2, 6-4.

Doubles Q-finals: Frantisek Cermak (Cze)-Filip Polasek (Svk) bt Martin Emmrich (Ger)-Andreas Siljestrom (Swe) 6-4, 3-6, 10-7; Scott Lipsky (US)-Rajeev Ram (US) bt Matthew Ebden (Aus)-Bernard Tomic (Aus) 6-2, 6-3; Eric Butorac (US)-Jean-Julien Rojer (Ned) bt Lukas Dlouhy (Cze)-Marcelo Melo (Bra) 6-4, 4-6, 10-3; Juergen Melzer (Aut)-Philipp Petzchner (Ger) bt Colin Fleming-Ross Hutchins (Bri) 6-3, 6-3.

Somdev's hard work pays off

SOMDEV Devvarman was a scrawny kid with a weak serve when he entered the University of Virginia to study sociology seven years ago.
The Chennai-born player, however, embraced the advice of his tennis coaches to improve in all aspects of his game.
His determination to put his heart and soul into his game paid off as he made headlines for being the only collegiate player to have entered three consecutive finals at the NCAA men's tennis championship. His 44-1 win-loss record in 2008 is unprecedented.
Somdev turned pro with an extra bounce in his step and just weeks after graduating three years ago, he won a pair of Futures and a Challenger, and in less than two months, his ranking soared more than 500 spots into the top 250.
The baseliner's meteoric rise in the sport is proof that one does not have to sacrifice studies for sport.
"It is a norm for players to turn pro and play full-time at a very young age but as for me, I went through the college system to earn a degree and also improve my tennis," said Somdev, who is competing in the ATP Malaysian Open.
"I was fortunate to not have to go through the initial tough phases because I was confident after doing well at the end of my college career and kind of carried that into the pros, did well the first two months, and put the really, really tough work behind me. After that, it was a lot easier."
The past year has been Somdev's best to date at pro level as he captured the singles gold medal at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and the singles and doubles titles at the Guangzhou Asian Games.
Somdev, however, has not won a tour title but came close on several occasions. A year after he turned pro, he was beaten by Croatia's Marin Cilic in the Chennai Open final before bowing out to South Africa's Kevin Anderson at the same stage in Johannesburg two years later.
"I may have turned pro late in my career but my standard of play is about the same as those at my age.
"I'll continue working on my game, try to get better in every aspect and, hopefully, soon I can break 50.
"If I get to that, then you don't kind of stop, you go for the next one.
"It's always just trying to get better," said Somdev, who reached a career-high No 62 in July but has since dropped 27 rungs.
Somdev arrived in Kuala Lumpur after a two-week break nursing a shoulder injury but managed to clear his first round match despite not being 100 per cent.
He, however, was beaten by Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 7-5, 6-4 in a thrilling second round match on Wednesday.

Davydenko goes for relaxed approach

FORMER ATP Malaysian Open champion Nikolai Davydenko has opted for a more relaxed approach to his game since struggling to return to form after injuring his wrist last year.
The Russian, who has been ranked as high as World No 3, said he has fully recovered from the injury.
"When I came back from my injury, I felt the need to go back straight into the top 10 and I pushed myself very hard to achieve that," said the World No 36.
"When it didn't happen, I got frustrated and kept asking myself why I could not be the same anymore. I now have decided to try and relax more and just enjoy myself,"
"It is tough to combine a life as a competitive tennis player and enjoy life at the same time but maybe when I am feeling more confident, I will push myself once again."
Davydenko disclosed that he is looking to change his game in the future to minimise the long energy-sapping rallies he has to play.
"I cannot sustain long rallies as age is catching up. I need to play smart tennis to last longer on the tour," added the 30-year-old who has won 21 tour titles.

Yew Ming wants to keep playing in the doubles

Malaysian No. 1 Si Yew Ming is hoping to continue playing doubles in the Malaysian Open tennis championships for many more years.
The 32-year-old Yew Ming, who partnered American teen sensation Ryan Harrison as a wildcard pair, came close to achieving an historic feat of reaching the second round on Wednesday.
The pair lost 4-6, 5-7 to Eric Butorac-Jean Julien Rojer.
“It was a great experience for me. Harrison had great energy and I felt good about the way I played,” said Yew Ming yesterday.
“Despite the loss, I’m happy with my performance and I would love to come back and play in the doubles event again next year.”
The soft spoken Ipoh-born Yew Ming had earlier given a spirited performance in the singles qualifying round before losing to Ukraine’s Stanislav Poplavskyy.
No Malaysian player has ever reached the second round of the Malaysian Open.
Still, it was a commendable performance by both Yew Ming and Harrison – especially the Malaysian, who has held the fort for local tennis for the past decade.

Thursday, 29 September 2011


Kuala Lumpur, 28 September: For the second year running, Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis has reached the quarterfinals of the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 that is currently into its fifth day at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil. He overcame a strong challenge from world No.89 and India’s currently top ranked player, Somdev Devvarman to win 7-5, 6-4 in 105 minutes. Devvarman looked strong in the first set when he broke Baghdatis in the seventh game and took a 5-3 lead, but the Cypriot came back to break the Indian's serve in the tenth and twelfth game. Baghdatis always seemed to save his best for when his back was against the wall, saving a total of seven out of eight break points in the first set. In the second set, Baghdatis displayed good serve form, racking up four aces and taking a 3-1 lead, and while Devvarman hit a number of good winners, he also suffered from lapses in concentration that boosted his count of unforced errors for which he eventually paid the price. “I was a bit impatient in the beginning but changed my game to suit the slow court. It was disappointing to have my serve broken but I took it point for point and it turned out ok. It is always tough against Somdev,” said the 26-year-old Baghdatis, who also added he has been working hard on improving his fitness. Baghdatis, who will face Melzer in the quarterfinals, said he is looking forward to giving his best against the Austrian after having retired against him in the Australian Open. “I am disappointed I had to retire with an injured finger the last time we met. He is a great player and I will give it my all against it.” Austrian world No.21 Jurgen Melzer, meanwhile, took just over an hour to dispose off SouthAfrican qualifier Rik De Voest 6-0, 6-4 in the first second round match of the tournament played here on the Putra Stadium Centre Court today. The 30-year-old Melzer, who received a bye in the first round, was in fantastic form from the get go, serving his opponent a bagel first set with his consistent serve game, solid returns and strong baseline play. Thirty one-year-old De Voest put up a stronger challenge in the early stages of the second set, but failed to hit the form that saw him overcome American Ryan Sweeting yesterday, instead making a series of unforced errors and bad returns that helped fourth seed Melzer sweep into the quarterfinals. “I played pretty well today. I think the first set was one of the best I have played all year,” said the Austrian who hit his career high of No.8 in April this year. “Once you reach the top-ten, it’s different because you become the favourite to win every game. I just hope to keep on playing like this,” he added. In the biggest upset of the tournament so far, Italian Flavio Cipolla dashed young Australian Bernard Tomic’s hopes of progressing into the second round when he overcome the higher ranked 18-year-old tennis sensation 6-2, 6-2 in just 72 minutes. The scene was set early on for the 27-year-old’s Italian’s upset when he broke Tomic’s serve as early as the first game. Clearly not at the form that saw him reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals this year, Tomic struggled with his serve throughout the match, with the world No.96 Cipolla returning strongly and Tomic finding it hard to adapt to the Italian's aggressive play. Tomic continued to adopt a defensive approach in the second set but was prone to errors while Cipolla was strong coming into the net to finish off points against the lethargic 18-year-old world No.59. ”It was a great match for me. He is good player but he wasn’t playing at his best and his serve wasn’t his usual. I was solid and smart and didn't make any mistakes. We had a lot of long rallies which I won, so it was a good game for me,” said Cipolla, who is playing the best tennis of his career and recently beat Andy Roddick in the ATP World Tour Masters in Madrid in May.Cipolla will have to again be at his best if he hopes for a result in his second round match against the tournament’s third seed, Serbian Janko Tipsarevic. The other seeded player in action today was seventh seed and World No.41 Dmitry Tursonov who hit eight aces en route to defeating 20-year-old wild card David Goffin 6-3, 6-3 in 83 minutes. Meanwhile, in the final game of the singles first round, Uzbek Denis Istomin ended Australian Marinko Matosevic’s challenge in the tournament when he defeated the 26-year qualifier 6-3, 6-2 in 73 minutes.
Top seeds take to Centre Court tomorrow Top three seeds Nicolas Almagro, Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic will all be in action in their second round matches tomorrow, while fifth seed Davydenko and eighth seed Nishikori are also featuring in their second round matches. The first match slated to being at 1pm on Centre Court will see second seeded Serbian Troicki, who has yet to play a match, take on Uzbek Denis Istomin. Next up, fifth seed Nicolay Davydenko will face Polish world No.57 Lukasz Kubot, with the duo only having played in each other once in the 2009 US Open, with Davydenko emerging victorious. Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who overcome a rough start before defeating his qualifier opponent in the first round, will have to show more consistency if he is to defeat one half of US Open doubles champions, Philipp Petzschner, in his second round match. Now No.54 in the world, the 21-year-old Nishikori is ranked only a few spots higher than his 27-year-old opponent, who is currently at No.66, but has held a ranking as high as No.35. Top seed and World No.9 Nicolas Almagro of Spain will face a fellow Spaniard Albert Ramos in his first match of the tournament. Ramos, who made it through to the second round after Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin retired in the 3rd set of their first round match, is ranked No.80 in the world and has never played Almagro before. Almagro will be motivated to do well in the Malaysian Open, as he stands a good chance to make to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November, should he take all 250 points home.In the final match to be played on Centre Court tomorrow, Serbian Janko Tipsarevic will take on Flavio Cipolla of Italy. Tipsarevic is tipped to win the game based on his superior ranking, but the duo have never met before and Cipolla is playing the best tennis of his career.
Local boys put up a valiant fight but fall to top ranked opponents in doubles Local tennis stars Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak and Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam put on a good display on front of home fans but eventually succumbed to the experience of their third seeded opponents Frantisek Cermak and Filip Polasek 6-2, 6-2 in just under an hour. The boys started off brightly with some aggressive net play and held serve until the sixth game, when the Czech-Slovakian duo finally broke them to take a 4-2 lead and seal the first set. Both Deedat and Ariez struggled with their serve rhythm and gifted their opponents a number of double fault points during the match, but it was clear to all watching that the boys were giving it their all and managed to pull off some impressive winners. At 5-0 down in the second, the teenagers finally won their first game of the set and even managed to break their opponents serve next, much to the delight of the crowd. "I think we played alright, not too bad but our opponents were just at a much higher level. We just went all out and tried to have fun. Being in this atmosphere makes you want to work harder to rise to the level needed to make this your career,” said 17-year-old Ariez Elyaas. “This is the life I want - playing in tournaments like these,” added the 16-year-old Ahmad Deedat. Although they secured the win, it is still too early to tell if 34-year-old Cermak can go all the way and defend his Malaysian Open doubles title, albeit with a new partner. On 26-year-old Polasek, the Czech said: "He is a very good player and (our partnership) is going very well so far." In today’s final game on Centre Court, but certainly not the least interesting, number one Si Yew-Ming and 19-year-old American Ryan Harrison partnered up as a wild card entry and took on the second seeds in the tournament, American Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands Antilles, in their first round doubles match. The Malaysian-American scratch pairing put on a passionate and exciting show but eventually went down 6-4, 7-5 in 65 minutes. There was hope of a historic upset early in the match when Yew-Ming and Harrison held serve strongly and made some impressive winners against their opponents seeded 18th and 19th in the world, but the scratch pairing could not sustain their challenge, conceding a break in the ninth game and the set. Down 5-4 in the second, the wild card duo broke their opponents for the first time in the match, much to the crowd’s appreciation. They may have lost, but this was probably the closest a Malaysian has ever come to a victory on the ATP World Tour. “It was a great experience for me. Harrison has good energy and I feel good about the way I played. I’m happy to be back in the doubles and I would love to play in the doubles again next year,” said the 32-year-old Yew-Ming. In today’s other doubles first round matches, German Martin Emmrich and partner Andreas Siljestrom of Sweden defeated the Canadian-Slovakian duo of Adil Shamasdin and Igor Zelenay 7-5, 3-6, 10-7 in a super-tie breaker match lasting 92 minutes. Singles fifth seed Nicolay Davydenko and fellow Russian partner Teymuraz Gabashvili also saw their hopes of progression in the doubles dashed by the Czech-Brazilian pairing of Lukas Dlouhy and Marcelo Melo when they were defeated 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) in 80 minutes. All the doubles quarterfinals will be played tomorrow on Court 1 from 1.00pm onwards.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Davydenko starts singles campaign strongly against Harrison

Fifth seeded Russian Nicolay Davydenko eased his way into the second round after defeating American teenage sensation Ryan Harrison 6-3, 6-2 in tonight’s big match on Centre Court.
The 19-year-old Harrison, who has been touted as the next big name in American tennis, got off to a slow start, allowing Davydenko to break his serve early in the first set before getting back into the match as the 30-year-old Russian began to tire.
Harrison started with greater purpose in the second set and broke Davydenko in the third game. But his more experienced opponent immediately returned the favour and went on to wrap the game up in 88 minutes.
”We had a lot of long rallies at the start and I was running a lot. I got a little bit tired towards the end of the first set. He’s a young player and he plays well with good baseline play and volleys. But I just kept fighting and I’m happy I managed the same level in the second set,” said the Russian world No.36.
Asked what his target for the tournament was, Davydenko replied that “right now, I just want to get past the second round.”
Harrison conceded that his opponent deserved the victory today.
“He was very good from the start and was rushing me around the court a lot. He is a world class tennis player and he is definitely playing at a higher level than me right now. I need to press a little more and push up my level,” said the American teenager. - Karan (Malaysian Open)

US Open doubles champs cruise into quarterfinals

In their first doubles game since their August win in New York, the German-Austrian duo of Philipp Petzschner and Jurgen Melzer brushed aside the challenge of Russian Mikhail Elgin and Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin, winning 7-6(7-5), 6-2 in 73 minutes to move into the quarterfinals of the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011.
Although the top seeded doubles pair squandered a number of opportunities to break their opponents in the first set and were forced into a tie-break, they got quickly off the mark in the second to wrap the tie up.
“We played good tennis and even though it looked close in the first set, we actually had opportunities to break them in five out of their six service games. The second set was a bit more of a cruise,” said 27-year-old Petzschner after the match, adding that the US Open win was a great confidence booster.
However, both men will still place greater focus on the singles tournament, with 30-year-old Melzer seeded fourth in the draw. “Singles is still our priority – doubles is more for fun,” he said. - Karan (Malaysian Open)

Devvarman, Petzschner, Ramos and Kubot through to second round

Indian tennis star Somdev Devvarman booked his spot in the second round of the ATP Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 after he defeated Russian qualifier Mikhail Ledovskikh 7-6(7-5), 6-4 in the day’s second match on Centre Court here at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The 25-year-old world No.305 qualifier threatened to pull off another upset when he stretched the No.89 Indian into a tie-break in the first set, but Devvarman overcame the Russian’s challenge to seal the victory in straight sets.
The 26-year-old Indian, who won the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold for India last year, has recently recovered from a shoulder injury that has ruled him off the court for the last two weeks.
“He (Ledovskikh) has been playing some good tennis this tournament so I wasn’t expecting an easy game. I’m still not 100% yet (due to my shoulder injury) so I’m happy with the win and it was great to be out there and pain-free today. The ATP trainers have been fantastic in helping me out,” said Devvarman after the game.
On his next match, he added, “Baghdatis is a very good player who has been playing well recently – I will have to be aggressive against him and not let him control the game,”
In the day’s first game on Centre Court, German Phillip Petzschner
defeated countryman Mischa Zverev 7-5, 6-3 in 72 minutes to also book his second round spot in the singles draw.
The US Open Doubles winner Petzschner is currently on Centre Court again with Austrian partner Jurgen Melzer as they kick off their Malaysian Open doubles campaign as the top seeds.
On Court 1, Spaniard Albert Ramos moved into the second round of the tournament after his higher ranked opponent, Mikhail Kukushni of Kazakhstan, retired in the third set after 2 hours and 10 minutes. The 23-year-old Ramos had lost the first game 4-6, but had clawed his way back into the match, winning the second 6-3 and leading the third 4-2 when Kukushkin retired due to injury. Ramos will meet top seed and fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the second round.
Meanwhile, Polish star Lukasz Kubot beat Czech Lukas Rosol 6-3, 6-3 in the day’s second game on Court 1 to also stake his place in the next round against the winner of tonight’s match between Russian Nikolay Davydenko and American sensation Ryan Harrison. - Karan (Malaysian Open)


Almagro is all fired up

Nicolas Almagro may be known as the Tempe­ra­mental Talent on court, but off it he certainly didn’t show any signs of it at all.
Almagro also explained that his fiery temper on court is part of his playing style which has helped him improved over the years.
“It’s part of my mentality. When I step on court I just want to win although recently I’ve learned to focus solely on the game.”
Almagro is the top seed following Czech Tomas Berdych’s withdrawal and he is certainly well poised to win in his first appearance here.
Almagro has won three tournaments this season although uncharacteristic performances saw him crash out in the first round of the French and US Opens.
And the hard-serving Almagro has taken a more precautionary approach towards the Malaysian Open.
“I’ve played some good tennis this year especially early on but I could have done much better. At times I made just too many mistakes like during the French Open.
“The competition here is very strong. Every player has a chance to win and I’m just hoping to play my best tennis and win the tournament,” said Almagro who named Serbia’s Viktor Troicki as his strongest opponent.
Troicki is the second seed while another Serb, Janko Tipsarevic, is the third seed.
Almagro receives a bye in the first round and will take on the winner of the match between Kazakh­stan’s Mikhail Kukushkin and Spaniard Albert Ramos in the second round.
The Spaniard, the world number 11, arrived yesterday for the Malay­sian Open tennis championship and he was certainly in good spirits as he joked with reporters during a press conference at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
“I just landed and I haven’t tried the courts yet. The only thing I’ve tried was the bed but it was only for 20 minutes and it is definitely not enough,” joked the 26-year-old Murcia native - Kng Zheng Guan - Star

Baghdatis sails through

CYPRIOT Marcos Baghdatis won his 200th career match on the ATP Tour in style by upsetting World No 40 and sixth seed Alex Bogomolov Jr 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 in the first round of the Malaysian Open at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The World No 60, who struggled in the recent US Open, needed to produce his best tennis to overcome his on-form opponent.
Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open finalist, and the bad-tempered Bogomolov started cautiously as both held serve to force a tie-break before the former broke serve three times to win the first set 7-3 in 54 minutes.
It was the same story in the second set as both players preferred to stay on the baseline. Baghdatis then raised his tempo in the ninth game and held two match points at 40-15 but Bogomolov, who was on serve, saved both for deuce.
The 26-year-old, who has won two ATP titles, however got the better of Bogomolov to earn his place in the second round, where he will face either India's Asian Games champion Somdev Devvarman or Russian qualifier Mikhail Ledovskikh.
Bogomolov was warned by the chair umpire for throwing his racquet on the court several times during the match.
"You don't really think about it (200th win on the ATP Tour). It is the first round and you just try your hardest to win," said Baghdatis.
"Alex (Bogomolov) played really well and so I had to up my game. It was an even match between us but I had the little bit of edge just enough to win."
In the battle of two wild cards, Belgium's World No 223 David Goffin earned his second career match victory by ousting Australia's World No 137 Matthew Ebden 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Goffin, 20, broke Ebden's serve in the seventh game to win the first set but stomach problems saw him struggle in the second, where he had to come back from 5-2 down to clinch victory in only his second ATP-level tournament this year.
"I have been having stomach problems for the last two days. I called for medical help during the match. I hope I will recover in time for my second round match," said the Belgian.
He will face either Russia's Dmitry Tursunov or Chile's Paul Capdeville, who were involved in a late match, in the second round.

RESULTS: Men's singles -- 1st rd: David Goffin (Bel) bt Matthew Ebden (Aus) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4); Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp) bt Alex Bogomolov (Usa) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.

Qualifying (3rd rd): Mikhail Ledovskikh (Rus) bt Tatsuma Ito (Jpn) 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 7-6 (8-6); Rik De Voest (Rsa) bt Michael Yani (Usa) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4; Marinko Matosevic (Aus) bt Rajeev Ram (Usa) 6-3, 6-4; Teymuraz Gabashvili (Rus) bt Zhang Ze (Chn) 6-2, 6-4.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Tatsuma lets his performance on court do the talking

Asian Games bronze medalist Tatsuma Ito may not be as well known as his good friend and fellow Japanese Kei Nishikori in the tennis circle but he is certainly one to let his performance on court do the talking.
The 23-year-old Inabe native showed that he can be just as good as Nishikori when he played some brilliant tennis to dispatch off Monaco journeyman Jean-Rene Lisnard 7-6, 6-2 in the second qualifying round of the Malaysian Open ATP 250 championship at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil yesterday.
“Me and Kei, we’re good friends and we have a lot to talk about,” said Tatsuma.
“Even though he’s younger than me, he certainly plays good tennis and I get to train and spar with him whenever he’s back in Japan and that helps me improve as well.
“I’ve certainly improved quite a bit since the Asian Games last year and I even got to compete in the main draw of the US Open last month which was quite an experience.”
Tatsuma lost in the first round to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez then.
“Although my rankings is still just at 130 in the world, I believe there’s still room for me to improve and maybe catch up with Kei,” said Tatsuma who was ranked as high as No.102 early last month.
Yesterday Tatsuma broke Lisnard’s serve early in the first set to race to a 4-1 lead before Lisnard fought back to force deuce at 5-5.
Still the young Japanese proved superior especially on service returns and eventually took the first set after a closely fought tiebreaker and it was one-way traffic in the second set.
Tatsuma will next take on Russia’s Mikhail Ledovskikh in the qualifying final today for a place in the main draw.
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s other matches, top qualifying seed Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia made light work of Bulgarian Alexander Lazov – winning 6-1, 6-1 and will take on China’s Zhang Ze next.
The young Chinese had earlier defeated the higher ranked Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-3, 6-4.
Two Americans – Michael Yani and Rajeev Ram also made it through with hard-fought victories and will take on South Africa’s Rik De Voest and Aussie Marinko Matosevic respectively. - Kng Zheng Guan

Budding star Ariez gets surprise wildcard for doubles event

Malaysia’s budding tennis star Ariez Elyaas received a major boost in his career when he was handed a surprise wildcard to play in the main draw of the doubles event in the Malaysian Open ATP 250 which begins today.
The 18-year-old Ariez along with fellow Malaysian youngster Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak had earlier played in the first qualifying round of the singles event on Saturday.
Although he lost to China’s Zhang Ze 4-6, 0-6, Ariez managed to show why he’s touted as the future of Malaysian tennis with some brilliant play and strong serves.
Ahmed was beaten by Taiwan’s Jimmy Wang 1-6, 2-6.
Despite that loss, Ariez will now have a second chance to prove his worth after being handed the wildcard together with Ahmed as a pair and they will have a chance to rub shoulders with the big guns.
“It was really a shock when I received the news because I was not expecting it at all,” said Ariez.
“The call came late Saturday night out of the blue and I’m still really happy and surprised by that decision.”
However, Ariez is aware that they will have their hands full in the first round itself but has promised to give a good showing of himself.
In fact, Ariez-Ahmed could not have asked for a tougher first round assignment as they are drawn against third seeds and defending champions Frantisek Cermak-Filip Polasek of Czech Republic and Slovakia.
“It is definitely a very tough draw because our opponents are the winners from last year and are very good.” -Star

Baghdatis targets milestone victory

BIG hitting Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis is eyeing more than his 200th career win at the Malaysian Open.
Baghdatis, a finallist at the 2006 Australian Open, wants to bag his second title in Asia, after Beijing in 2006, in his third appearance in Kuala Lumpur.
The World No 60, however, wants to take it one match at a time and his first aim is to record his 200th career win over Alex Bogomolov of the US in the first round.
"I do feel some pressure to win the match (against Bogomolov) but that is normal as I always want to win every match I play," said the 26-year-old from Limassol.
"I have not played him in a while but I've seen him play a few times recently and he is a solid player with good shots. So I need to be prepared and playing well to beat him."
Baghdatis, who has been plagued by numerous injuries throughout his career, said he is fit and wants to win a title this year.
"The draw does look a little better, but having said that there are always a lot of other good players who are also hungry to win so it will not be so easy," added Baghdatis, whose best achievement in KL was reaching the quarter-finals last year.

Melzer-Petzschner still on a high

US Open doubles champion Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner are eager to keep their momentum going ahead of the year-ender ATP World Tour Finals in London at the ongoing Malaysian Open.
"We are in good form especially after just coming off a big win at the US Open. We definitely want to win here," said Melzer at Central Market in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
"We are the top seeds, so we will look to live up to that, but having said that we are also the pair to beat in this competition. We need to be careful as there are many good players here."
The World No 5 Austrian-German combination have won five titles including last year's Wimbledon since coming onto the scene as a pair early last year. At the Malaysian Open, they will open their campaign against Russia's Mikhail Elgin and Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin.
Petzschner, however, fears that the heat could affect their rhythm and performance in Kuala Lumpur.
"Now the tour is moving into the Asian swing and we may need a few days to adapt to the temperatures and conditions here," said Petzschner, the German half of the partnership.
Despite their success in the doubles, Melzer and Petzschner stressed that the singles were their priority.
"We are good because doubles is not our main priority. We mainly focus on singles... so that allows us to be more relaxed when we play doubles."
"It is quite difficult to balance singles and doubles but we find a way. We are also very good friends and have good understanding with each other. If one of us goes far in the singles (like reaching the semis or final) we try to find a way out of the doubles to focus on singles," said Melzer.
The United States' Eric Butorac and Netherlands Antilles' Jean Julien Roger, the second seeds, together with the Czech Republic and Slovakia combination of Frantisek Cermak and Filip Polasek, the third seeds, are among the favourites in the doubles which starts today.
Butorac-Roger face Malaysia's Si Yew Ming and Ryan Harrison of the US while Cermak-Polasek face local pair Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak-Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam, who received the tournament's third wild card.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Malaysian Open main draw starts tomorrow

Kuala Lumpur, 25 September: The second round of qualifying games of the Malaysian
Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 concluded here today at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, as more
of the best tennis players from around the world fought to stake their place in the singles
main draw. Today’s winners will face off tomorrow to determine the four qualifying spots
made available in the main draw.
In one of the day's longest and hardest fought matches, world No. 194 ranked American
Michael Yani came from a set down to beat Chinese Taipei's Jimmy Wang 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in 2
hours and 16 minutes.
The 30-year-old Singapore-born Yani’s final qualifying hurdle will be South African Rik De
Voest, who emerged victorious in another marathon battle against a determined Ti Chen of
Chinese Taipei. The 31-year-old De Voest eventually saw the game out 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in 2
Meanwhile, Tatsuma Ito of Japan overcame a strong first set challenge before disposing
Jean-Rene Lisnard of the Principality of Monaco 7-6(7-5), 6-2 in straight sets.
Tomorrow, the 23-year-old Ito will take on 25-year-old Russian Mikhail Ledovskikh, who
today defeated Italian Riccordo Ghedin 6-4, 6-4 in 75 minutes.
Australian Marinko Matosevic also booked his place in tomorrow’s final qualifying round
after grinding out a 6-2, 7-6(9-7) straight sets victory against Ukrainian Stanislav Poplavskyy.
Matosevic has his sights set now on defeating American Rajeev Ram to make the main draw,
after the 26-year-old Ram overcame a defiant Russian Mikhail Elgin 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in a match
lasting close to two hours.

Yew Ming and Co fail to get past first qualifying round

Local interest in the singles event of the Malaysian Open tennis championships ended after national No. 1 Si Yew Ming and Co failed to lift their game in the first qualifying round at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Yew Ming was given a wildcard to compete in the qualifying rounds but fell to Ukraine’s Stanislav Poplavskyy – 12 years his junior – 4-6, 2-6.
The second set was delayed for about 30 minutes due to lighting problems at the centre court with Poplavskyy leading 3-1.
When play resumed, Poplavskyy continued from where he left off.
Ipoh lad Yew Ming was quite pleased with his performance des­pite crashing out at the first hurdle once again.
“He (Poplavskyy) made quite a few good returns on my service ... perhaps I could’ve done better,” said the soft-spoken Yew Ming.
“I will need to brush up on my shots, especially at the net, but overall I thought I played quite well. It was quite satisfying in the end.”
While the elder statesman of the national team failed to get past the first round, the juniors fared no better.
Eighteen-year-old Ariez Elyaas showed flashes of brilliance in his match against China’s Zhang Ze but crumbled in the second set to lose 4-6, 0-6 while 16-year-old Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak was totally outclassed by Taiwan’s Jimmy Wang 1-6, 2-6.
Another Malaysian youngster Wan Abdul Muiz was given a 1-6, 0-6 thrashing by Bulgaria’s Alexander Lazov.
Despite the early whitewash in the singles event, Malaysia will still have something to cheer for as Yew Ming will compete in the main draw of the doubles event , partnering rising American youngster Ryan Harrison.


First round: Alexander Lazov (Bul) bt Wan Abdul Muiz (Mas) 6-1, 6-0; Zhang Ze (Chn) bt Ariez Elyaas (Mas) 6-4, 6-0; Jean-Rene Lisnard (Mon) bt Koki Matsunaga (Jpn) 6-3, 7-5; Mikhail Ledovskikh (Rus) bt Gong Mao-Xin (Chn) 6-4, 7-5; Chen Ti (Tpe) bt Scott Lipsky (US) 7-6, 6-3; Jimmy Wang (Tpe) bt Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak (Mas) 6-1, 6-2; Stanislav Poplavskyy (Ukr) bt Si Yew Ming (Mas) 6-4, 6-2; Mikhail Elgin (Rus) bt Jean-Julien Rojer (Aho) 6-4, 6-7, 7-6. - (Kng Zheng Guan-Star)

Quality fare despite withdrawals

THE Asian swing of the ATP Tour has been hit by withdrawals but fans in Kuala Lumpur can still expect an exciting week ahead in the RM3 million Malaysian Open.
The tournament, at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, may have lost its defending champion Mikhail Youzhny of Russia and top seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic but this year's player list looks good with other top draws.
Spain's World No 12 Nicolas Almagro, Serbia's Viktor Troicki, Janko Tipsarevic and Austria's US Open doubles champion Jurgen Melzer are the top four seeds in the tournament. All four received first round byes.
Almagro, a clay court specialist with 10 career titles, will be hoping to clinch his first indoor hard court tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
The top seed faces either Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin or compatriot Albert Ramos in the second round while
Troicki, the second seed, takes on either Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin or a qualifier.
Troicki hopes to continue his winning streak in Asia with a third straight title. He won the singles in Bangkok in 2009 and followed up with a win in doubles last year.
Tipsarevic, a Davis Cup champion, has not won a title despite reaching four career finals while Melzer will be the one to watch as the 30-year-old is brimming with confidence after victory in doubles at the US Open.
The most anticipated match in the first round, however, is between Russia's 2009 champion Nikolay Davydenko and the United States' Ryan Harrison.
Davydenko, the World No 31, has won an outdoor title in Munich while Harrison, the World No 82, has reached two semi-finals this year. It will be their first meeting on the tour.
"It will be a difficult match as Davydenko will want to maintain Russia's stranglehold in this event," said Harrison yesterday.
Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis and Alex Bogom olov Jr. of the United States face each other in the first round with the former winning their only previous encounter five years ago.
The match between two wild cards -- Australia's World No 137 Matthew Ebden and Belgium's World 223 David Goffen is the other anticipated clash on the cards.
The singles and doubles main draw start tomorrow.
Meanwhile, none of the local players won their first round qualifying match on Saturday.
Si Yew Ming, the national champion, played respectable tennis but still lost 6-4, 6-2 to World No 558 Stanislav Poplavskyy.
Compatriot Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam fizzled out after a good opening set in his 6-4, 6-0 defeat to China's Zhang, Ze.
Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak and Wan Abdul Muiz Wan Abdul Aziz were also outclassed by experienced opponents.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Same old story......

None of the local players won their first round qualifying match at the Malaysian Open yesterday.
Si Yew Ming, the national champion, played respectable tennis but still lost 6-4, 6-2 to World No 558 Stanislav Poplavskyy.
"I did not play returns were bad," said Yew Ming, the undisputed national No 1.
Compatriot Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam fizzled out after a good opening set in his 6-4, 6-0 defeat to China’s 399 Ze Zhang.
Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak and Wan Abdul Muiz Wan Abdul Aziz were also outclassed by experienced opponents.
"We need to play more tennis outside the alone at home will not help in the personal growth of a tennis player," added Yew Ming.

* National champion Syed Agil Syed Naguib along with Malaysia Games winner Khoo Er Yang and runner-up Juan Los Santos should have played in the Malaysian Open. Why weren't they picked.....head down to Jalan Duta for a chat with celebrity DJ-cum-soon to be secretary Ibrahim Abu Bakar....

Defending champion Youzhny and Berdych out of Malaysian Open

The Malaysian Open tennis championships will begin today, with the qualifying event, without a world top-10 player and the defending champion.
World No. 9 Tomas Berdych and defending champion Mikhail Youzhny have pulled out from the tournament because of recurring injuries.
Tournament director Nick Freyer said that Czech Republic’s Berdych had been troubled by a shoulder injury for a few weeks now and that it was the same injury which forced him to retire from his match in the third round of the US Open while playing against Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic.
“I am really sorry I cannot make it to Kuala Lumpur this year. I have had some good results there before and I really like the city and the people,” Berdych said in a message.
“I was really looking forward to being there again but my shoulder is still troubling me. I was able to play one singles in Davis Cup (against Romania last week) but it has flared up again and I need to rest for few more days. I hope I can come back next year.”
World No. 32 Youzhny, meanwhile, is suffering from a chronic back injury after playing an extended Davis Cup match for Russia against Brazil last week. He needed five hours to defeat Thomaz Bellucci 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 14-12.
“I have to take care of my back and that means I have to undergo some specialist treatment in Moscow,” said Youzhny.
“That’s why I cannot make the trip to Kuala Lumpur. This is a tournament I like very much and last year was very successful for me. I want to say thank you for the invitation and to wish all the fans a good time.”
Their withdrawal means that world No. 12 Nicolas Almagro of Spain will be the top seed.
Other players set to grace the tournament at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil are former champion Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, Cyprus’ Marcos Baghdatis and Bernard Tomic of Australia.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Taro and Tomic get Malaysia Open wild cards

As preparations are under way to welcome some of the biggest names in world tennis to the Malaysian Open ATP 250 championships, which begins this weekend, the final two wild card recipients have been finalised.
Tournament director Nick Freyer, who was hoping for some big names to snatch the remaining wild cards, announced yesterday that 18-year-old Taro Daniel, who holds a dual citizenship (US and Japanese), and Bernard Tomic have been awarded the singles and doubles wild card respectively.
“Taro has a very bright future and, together with Kei Nishikori who is also playing here this year, they will be at the front of the next tennis boom in Japan,” said Freyer.
“This can only have a positive spin-off for Asian tennis that will reach far and wide.”
Daniel, who currently resides and trains in Spain, will be making his ATP World Tour debut in the tournament.
“Malaysian fans have a fantastic opportunity to come and watch him play and experience his raw talent before it is fully discovered by the world at large,” Freyer said.
Tomic is an up-and-coming Aus­tra­lian player who reached the singles quarter-finals of the Wimbledon this year with compatriot Matthew Ebden. In a move to attract more spectators to the event, the organisers have an­nounced that tickets will be priced at RM10 (from Monday to Tuesday), RM15 (Wed-Thu), RM20 (Fri) and RM50 (Sat-Sun) with free-seating throughout the tournament.
The Malaysian Open is one of only five World Tour stops in Asia and carries a total prize money of US$947,750 (RM2.9mil). It will feature a 28-player singles main draw and 16 doubles pairs with the qualifying round for singles starting tomorrow.
World No. 9 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic is the top seed. Other top stars include Nishikori, world No. 12 Nicolas Almagro of Spain, Cyprus’ Marcos Baghdatis and Serbians Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki.

MOM sedia berunding dengan LTAM

Masih ada jalan penyelesaian buat Persatuan Lawn Tenis Malaysia (LTAM) untuk menghantar wakil ke Sukan SEA di Indonesia, November ini berikutan kesediaan Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) untuk berunding bagi mencari kata sepakat yang lebih positif.
Malah, Setiausaha Kehormat MOM, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi berkata, pihaknya sentiasa mengambil pendekatan yang fleksibel bagi memberi peluang kepada atlet dan persatuan sukan terlibat demi masa depan sukan negara.
"Memang tarikh tutup pendaftaran atlet ditetapkan pada 25 September ini, tetapi MOM sangat fleksibel jika LTAM masih berhajat untuk menghantar pemain ke Indonesia, maka kami bersedia menerima senarai nama pemain yang bakal dipilih oleh persatuan itu," katanya ketika dihubungi Utusan Malaysia di sini, semalam.
Menurutnya, MOM menghormati keputusan LTAM jika mereka telah memutuskan untuk menyenaraikan pemain berdasarkan penilaian yang dibuat persatuan itu hasil daripada pemilihan yang akan dibuat.
"Tetapi, seperti yang saya nyatakan sebelum ini untuk kategori A hanya akan diberi kepada Si Yew Ming dan Jawairiah Noordin manakala atlet lain akan pergi di bawah kategori B.
"Jika LTAM nak tukar pemain terpulang kepada mereka, MOM menghormati keputusan tersebut dan kita bersedia menunggu sehingga mereka menghantar senarai baru" ujarnya.
Sementara itu, Presiden LTAM, Tan Sri Abdul Razak Latif ketika dihubungi memberitahu, pihaknya berharap MOM bersedia untuk memberi ruang kepada LTAM bagi membuat pemilihan pemain ke Sukan SEA terlebih dahulu, agar calon yang dihantar kelak benar-benar berkelayakan berdasarkan prestasi terkini.
"LTAM akan berusaha untuk menganjakkan tarikh pemilihan lebih awal di mana tarikh asal sepatutnya akan dilaksanakan pada 31 Oktober ini dan jika mendapat persetujuan pemain, kita akan menetapkan satu tarikh untuk sesi pemilihan dibuat," katanya.
Beliau berkata, pihaknya terlebih dahulu perlu berunding dengan jurulatih kebangsaan sebelum para pemain dipanggil untuk menetapkan tarikh yang sesuai untuk sesi kelayakan itu dibuat.
"Mengenai pemergian atlet di bawah kategori A atau B, bagi saya itu hak MOM untuk memutuskannya dan tanggungjawab LTAM ialah menghantar pemain yang benar-benar berkelayakan kerana kalau boleh kita mahu menang pingat, bukan sekadar pendedahan semata-mata," tambahnya.
Jelas beliau lagi, LTAM bersedia berunding dengan MOM bagi menyelesaikan kekeliruan yang berlaku sebelum ini dan pihaknya masih menunggu keputusan badan tersebut untuk mengadakan pertemuan.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Fix leaking roof, quick

PLAYERS and fans could end up drenched by rain at the ATP Malaysian Open, which starts on Saturday, as the leaking roof at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil has not been fixed.
The problem is not new as it has been highlighted a number of times in the last few years.
The current rainy season in Kuala Lumpur does not help the situation and fans should bring raincoats or umbrellas into the stadium.
The roof, right above the media and VIP sections, must be leaking badly as the authorities have covered it with plastic tarps to stop rain water into the stadium.
The contractor, hired by the Stadium Board to repair the leak, has put up a tent over the VIP section as protection in-case the plastic bag gives way under the weight of accumulated rain water.
But the sitting area for the paying fans and the centre court are not protected.
The stadium, built for the 1998 Commonwealth Games, has been the venue of several world class tournaments apart from the ATP Malaysian Open.
It also hosts the Proton Malaysian Open Badminton Championships annually.
An official from IMG, the organiser of the Malaysian Open, said the stadium's roof should be replaced by a new one.
"The leak is getting from bad to worse. It was bearable at first in 2009.
"The centre court's surface is expensive and if exposed to rain water, its wood would be damaged," he said.
Tournament director Nick Freyer said the stadium management has hired a contractor to fix the leak.
"But until it is fixed next year, we will have to deal with any eventualities as best we can.
"The weather does not discriminate and all events have the same issue to deal with. The show will go on," said Freyer.
The leak, however, should have been repaired by the Stadium Board and the concerned parties immediately when the problem first surfaced a few years ago.
This will reflect badly on the stadium management and others as the stadium is hosting an international event.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Wildcard for Ariez

Top national junior player Ariez Elyaas Deen Heesham believes he has grown as a player since his Malaysian Open debut last year.
He has once again been given a wildcard entry into the singles qualifiers.
"I'm a more mature player now. I've learnt so much in the past one year and can think better on the court," said Ariez.
He recalls being nervous ahead of last year's debut. The 18-year-old was then given a break by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) in the hope of exposing him to top quality play."It was a big opportunity for me. I got a feel of what top players go through during tournaments."
Ariez had an impressive KL Open recently. He partnered 16-year-old Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak to the doubles title and made it to the semifinals in the men's singles. He lost to eventual champion Pruchya Itsarow of Thailand.
Joining him in the singles qualifiers is upcoming star Deedat.
His impressive performance in both the junior and men's Davis Cup establishes Deedat as a rising star of Malaysiantennis.
The KL-born teenager has been consistently making semifinal and final outings in the national circuit.
Meanwhile, national No 1 Si Yew Ming will partner 19-year-old American Ryan Harrison in the doubles main draw.
This would be Yew Ming's third Malaysian Open tournament.
"I'm excited as always. I usually play in the singles but this time I'll be concentrating solely on the doubles.
"Perhaps there's a better chance for me to progress," said Yew Ming.
Among the big names competing for the Malaysian Open are Tomas Berdych, Nicolas Almagro, Janko Tipsarevic and Marco Baghdatis.
The organisers still have one wildcard entry left and will leave it late to confirm the place.
The tournament will be held at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Sept 24 till Oct 2. - The Malay Mail

Defending champ Youzhny skips Malaysian Open

RUSSIAN Mikhail Youzhny will not defend his title at the ATP Malaysian Open after injuring his back during his country's Davis Cup tie against Brazil over the weekend.
The 29-year-old said on Russian television on Sunday that he would take an indefinite break and would not come to Kuala Lumpur.
Youzhny's elder brother, Andrei Youzhny, who is coaching several young Russian players in Uzbekistan, confirmed that Youzhny would not be participating in the Malaysian Open when contacted yesterday by Uzbek-based former Malaysian national coach Fadhillah Ghani.
Malaysian Open tournament director Nick Freyer, however, said he has yet to hear from the player, or his agent about Mikhail's withdrawal.
Youzhny helped Russia beat Brazil 3-2 in a Davis Cup tie last weekend. He won both his matches, including a bruising 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 14-12 victory over Thomas Belucci.
Youzhny's withdrawal from the Malaysian Open threatens to end Russia's stranglehold which saw Nikolai Davydenko and Youzhny winning the past two editions.
Davydenko will compete in the Malaysian Open this year. However, a poor season has put him as a long shot for a second title. The other Russian left in the field is Dmitry Tursunov.
Youzhny stopped the rousing run of underdog Andrey Golubev in the Malaysian Open final last year, clinching a 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) win in two hours and 32 minutes. - Fadhli Ishak (NST)

Where are the sponsors?

UALA LUMPUR: Sponsors have been shying away from the Malaysian Open ATP 250 tennis championships and this have left tournament director Nick Freyer with a heavy heart before the start of the tournament on Sept 24 until Oct 2.
The third edition of the tournament which will be held at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, is still without a title sponsor.
The last two editions of the tournament saw Proton as the title sponsor with a huge backing from the Tourism Ministry.
The Ministry remains as the sponsors of the event this year with Mandarin Oriental hotel, Wilson, CNN and Astro, to name a few.
“I just don’t know why we couldn’t attract more sponsor,” said Freyer. “It’s a fantastic world-class tournament that could easily be the best in the South East Asia.”
“I just hope that sponsors can open up their eyes and support us. It is emotionally tough for us this year knowing that we don’t have a title sponsor.”
Given the fact that tournament of such stature is still without a title sponsor, it casts a huge cloud over the government’s effort to push sports industry which is worth RM30.2 bil - about 5% of the total domestic product (GDP) to the forefront.
The tournament will be televised worldwide from the quarter-finals stage onwards and have CNN and Astro as their media partners.
Meanwhile, Freyer said although the USD 947,750 tournament is still without a title sponsor, they are not cutting corners to run the show.
Quality, said Freyer, remains the epitome of the organisation of the event.
“We have secured a current Grand Slam-winning pair (Jurgen Melzer-Philipp Petzschner) who won the US Open recently and that alone should add prestige to the tournament.
“We also boast six of the top 20 players in the ATP rankings with most of them are returning players.
“In terms of the quality of players that are coming here, it is a diverse pool with fresh faces on board to add to the excitement,” he said.
While acknowledging that the tournament faces a stiff challenge to match the PTT Thailand Open, which runs concurrently with the Malaysian Open, Freyer said they are fast catching up with the Thai organisers.
“They have been running the show for nine years now while we are just into our third year.
“But from the responses we’re getting from the players, we are matching the level of the organisation,” he said.
The Bangkok tournament boasts three top 10 players - Andy Murray (world No. 4), Robin Soderling (No. 6) and Gael Monfils (No. 8) - while the Malaysian Open have only Tomas Berdych (No. 9) in the top 10.
Among other players who will be making their appearance at Putra Stadium are Nicolas Almagro (No. 12), Janko Tipsarevic (No. 17) and defending champion Mikhail Youzhny (No. 32).
Tickets are on sale for as low as RM10 with an Ipad 2 to be given out every day for lucky fans in the catch-the-ball promotion. - The Star

Deedat excited about Malaysian Open debut

PETALING JAYA: With the Malaysian Open ATP 250 tennis championship set to begin this weekend, Malaysian youngster Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak can hardly contain his excitement as he will be making his debut in one of the biggest tennis competition in Asia.
The 16-year-old Deedat is one of three Malaysian players who have been given the local wildcard entry for the qualifying round of the singles event, the others being national No. 1 Si Yew Ming and Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam.
For the little known Deedat, the chance to play in the Malaysian Open may come as a pleasant surprise to him but in truth his inclusion in the tournament is just reward for his hard work and good performance.
The lanky Deedat dished out stellar performances for Malaysia in the junior and men’s Davis Cup tournaments and has been touted as the rising star of Malaysian tennis.
He was also once ranked as high as third in the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) Under-14 circuit.
“I am really excited at the chance to play because this is my first time participating in an ATP event,” said Deedat who idolised former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero while growing up.
“I picked up tennis when I was just eight years old, playing for fun with my dad and I’ve found it to be very interesting indeed.”
“After that I slowly got more serious in the sport and I hope to continue playing tennis for a long time to come.”
“There isn’t really a target for me in the Malaysian Open as I’m just happy to play.”
“Hopefully I’ll be able to hold my serve against my opponent as that should be the easiest thing to do and play well,” added Deedat. -The Star

Monday, 19 September 2011

Donald Young, the third wild card player

DONALD Young of the United States could be one of two players offered the final wild card in the ATP Malaysian Open, which starts on Saturday at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Tournament director Nick Freyer said he will make an official announcement tomorrow.
“It will be a toss between Young and an upcoming Japanese player,” said Freyer at the tournament’s press conference yesterday.
“We tried to get World No 10 Tsonga (Jo-Wilfried) here but the Frenchman has opted for Metz.”
Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis and Belgian’s David Goffin are the tournament’s other wild card entries.
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 defending champion Mikhail Youzhny and former winner Nikolay Davydenko, together with Czech Republic’s World No 9 Tomas Berdych, the only top-10 player in the event, Spain’s Nicolas Almagro and Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic are the top draws in the event.
Freyer picked Berdych, the top seed, as the tournament favourite.
“He has not won a title despite making 12 quarter-final appearances this year. I believe his wait will end in his third appearance in Kuala Lumpur.
“Almargo withdrew last year because of an injury. The Spaniard is also in good form.”
Others in the tournament are newly crowned US Open doubles champions Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner, Japan’s Kei Nishikori, India’s Asian Games champion Somdev Devvarman, Australia's Bernard Tomic and Canada's Milos Raonic.
Malaysia’s Si Yew Ming will play in the doubles main draw with Ryan Harrison of the US.
It will be Yew Ming's third main draw appearance since the tournament's inception in 2009.
Yew Ming partnered Sweden's Joachim Johansson in the inaugural tournament but lost in their first match and in the following year, he was beaten by India's Yuki Bhambri in the singles first round.
The 32-year-old again earned a wild card this year after proving himself in the National Tour, where he dominated all four legs.
“I want to be the first local to win a match in this tournament. The closest I came was winning a set in 2009," said Yew Ming.
The former Sea Games medallist will also play singles qualifying along with Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam and debutant Ahmad Deedat Abd Razak.
“This will be my first ATP tournament and it will be a exciting new experience for me. I am not setting a high target as this event will be my first major,” said Ahmad Deedat.
Tickets are available at or

LTAM halts having 'illegal' elections

FOLLOWING the abrupt ending of the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) Biennial General Meeting (BGM) at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, its elections may only be held next year.
It was found that the BGM notice which was sent out to affiliates did not include the list of nominees for the elections.
According to its constitution, the elections would have been null and void if the house went on with the process.
Selangor Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) president Datuk Abdul Malik Mohd Salleh (picture) called for a resolution to postpone the elections and his suggestion was endorsed by the delegates.
"I gave them two options, either to carry on with the elections, which would be illegal or postpone it to another date. Except for a few, the rest accepted my resolution," said Abdul Malik yesterday.
"LTAM, must, however, write to the Sports Commissioner's Office to get clearance to hold the elections on another date as it was supposed to be held before the Sept 30 deadline.
"If everything goes well, the association will then have to get their notice in order before sending it out to the affiliates.
"It was also agreed upon by the attendees that the previous office-bearers would govern the association until the next elections are called."
In Saturday's BGM, which lasted for over three hours, incumbent president Tan Sri Abdul Razak Latiff was returned unopposed to serve his fourth term between 2011-13.
Incumbent honorary treasurer Aziah Abdullah was returned unopposed while Mohd Arfif Mohd Yusoff replaced incumbent Salwa Panot as assistant treasurer.
Four candidates -- incumbents Datuk Ahmad Jaafar, Datuk Patrick Liew and Cheng Joo Chong and Mirzan Mahathir are vying for the three vice-president posts while 10 nominees will contest seven positions in the executive committee.

Ahmad Shabery mahu Jawairiah ke Sukan SEA

LTAM tidak wajar sekat penyertaan atlit itu ke Jakarta
Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek menegaskan keputusan Persatuan Lawn Tenis Malaysia (LTAM) membatalkan penyertaan ratu tenis negara, Jawairiah Noordin beraksi di Sukan SEA XXVI di Indonesia November ini adalah tidak wajar.
Sehubungan itu, beliau mahu Jawairiah yang pernah menduduki ranking 111 remaja dunia dan memenangi tiga pingat emas di Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA) Mei lalu perlu diberi peluang beraksi pada temasya dwitahunan itu.
“Saya fikir tidak wajar LTAM membatalkan penyertaan Jawairiah ke Sukan SEA dan dia perlu diberi peluang beraksi,” katanya pada majlis Rumah Terbuka Aidilfitri di Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN) Kemasek, Terengganu semalam.
Dia menambah: “Saya mengalu-alukan langkah MOM menubuhkan Majlis Timbang Tara bagi menangani isu ini. Namun, saya harap dapat diselesaikan dengan baik.”
Jawairiah mendakwa tindakan LTAM membatalkan penyertaannya bukan kali pertama, sebaliknya pernah berlaku pada Sukan Komanwel tahun lalu.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Malaysian Open entries

Singles: Tomas Berdych (Cze), Nicolas Almagro (Spa), Viktor Troicki (Srb), Mikhail Youzhny (Rus), Jurgen Melzer (Aut), Janko Tipsarevic (Srb), Milos Raonic (Can), Nikolay Davydenko (Rus), Dmitry Tursunov (Rus), Pablo Cuevas (Uru), Alex Bogomolov Jr. (US), Kei Nishikori (Jpn), Lukasz Kubot (Pol), Bernard Tomic (Aus), Mikhail Kukushkin (Kaz), Somdev Devvarman (Ind), Philipp Petzschner (Ger), Lucas Rosol (Cze), Denis Istomin (Uzb); Wild cards: Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp), David Goffin (Bel).

Doubles (individual entries): Jurgen Melzer (Aut), Eric Butorac (US), Frantisek Cermak (Cze), Lukasz Kubot (Pol), Scott Lipsky (US), Lukas Diouhy (Cze), Colin Fleming (Bri), Alex Bogomolov (US), Somdev Devvarman (Ind), Adi Shamasdin (Can), Philipp Petzschner(Ger), Roger Jean-Julien (Aho), Filip Polasek (Svk), Dmitry Tursunov (Rus), Rajeev Ram (US), Marcelo Melo (Bra), Ross Hutchins (Bri), Lukas Rosol (Cze), Conrad Huey Treat (Phi), Igor Zelenay (Svk); Wild cards: Ryan Harrison (US), Si Yew Ming (Mas).

US Open champions to compete in Malaysian Open

Local tennis fans are in for a big treat as recently-crowned US Open doubles champions Jurgen Melzer of Austria and German Philipp Petzschner will be competing in the Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Sept 24-Oct 2.
The duo will be playing in the Asian circuit for the first time since winning the US Open last Saturday.
“We are really looking forward to being in Kuala Lumpur,” said Melzer.
“I have seen tennis increase in popularity in Asia over recent years. I am sure the fans in KL will give us a great welcome, especially now with this new title which Philipp and I are very proud of,” added Melzer.The US Open final was an overwhelming result for Melzer and Petzschner as they defeated the Polish combination of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-2, 6-2 in the final. Fyrstenberg and Matkowski were the Malaysian Open champions in 2009 and finalists in 2010. They, however, are skipping this year’s tournament.
Melzer and Petzschner came to the forefront of the doubles game in 2010 when they became the surprise Wimbledon champions. They have produced some solid results ever since and are now considered one of the best doubles combinations in the world.
Tournament director Nick Freyer said he was pleased to get Melzer and Petzschner on board.
“The doubles game is always exciting and fast paced. Having the US Open champions in our line-up gives the tournament an elevated status,” said Freyer.
For Melzer and Petzschner, the US Open was their third title of the year and fifth overall. Besides Wimbledon, they also won in Zagreb. This season, they were victorious in Stuttgart and Rotterdam. They are now ranked fifth in the world and have qualified for the year-end ATP World Tour Finals in London.
“I think it was a great win (the US Open) and we played an incredible match,” Petzschner said. “We are now 5-0 in finals. It’s great. Winning another Grand Slam title is an amazing feeling.”
Malaysia’s Si Yew Ming will also be playing in the doubles. He will be partnering American Ryan Harrison.
India’s Somdev Devvarman-Treat Conrad Huey of the Philippines, American Alex Bogomolov Jr-Czech Lukas Rosol and Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic-Brazilian Marcelo Melo are among the other pairs competing for the title.- Ramaguru (Star)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

US Open champs in doubles action?

NEWLY crowned US Open champions Jurgen Melzer (left) and Philipp Petzschner (right) could team up for doubles action in this year's Malaysian Open on Sept 24-Oct 2 at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The Austrian-German pairing defeated Poland's Mariusz Fyrstenberg-Marcin Matkowski 6-2, 6-2 in the US Open doubles final.
It was the first US Open win for Melzer and Petzschner but their second grand slam success after they won Wimbledon last year.
Melzer and Petzschner have only registered for the singles in the Malaysian Open but they may opt to play doubles in Kuala Lumpur after their success in New York.
"It has always been a dream of the tournament to bring Grand Slam champions to the Malaysian Open," said tournament director Nick Freyer yesterday.
"We are extremely excited to have reached this milestone and hope it is a prelude of greater things to come. There is a very real chance that fans may be able to relive the US Open doubles final come October 3."
Meanwhile, Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis and Belgian's David Goffin are the tournament's wild card.
"Baghdatis is a great personality. His style of tennis is really flamboyant and that makes for exciting matches.
"As for Goffin, the 20-year-old is gaining a fair amount of experience on the Challenger circuit," said Freyer.
The third and final main draw wild card is yet to be awarded.
Tickets for the event are available at or


The countdown to the third edition of the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur is well and truly underway with the official release of the full ATP World Tour entry list and event visual - and it is a fantastic line up of players heading to Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, September 24 to October 2, 2011.
Leading an impressively strong field which sees a cut-off at #68, is the 2010 Wimbledon finalist and World No.9 Tomas Berdych and close behind him is the Spanish Davis Cup player and KL debutant and World No.11, Nicolas Almagro. Berdych has had an incredibly consistent season so far. The 25 year old Czech has reached the quarter-finals or better at 12 of the 16 events he has played, whilst Almagro is having his best season ever.
There are a total of six players ranked in the world’s top-20 heading to Kuala Lumpur.
The Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 will play host to singles players from more than 15 different nations, with Russians numbering the most at three, followed by the Czechs and Serbs with two each.
“The cross-section of nations makes things incredibly exciting for the tournament because it allows word of the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur to cross the continents from Asia to Australia and from Europe to the Americas,” Tournament Director Nick Freyer, of organisers IMG, said. “I believe we are poised to see the best ever Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur unfold as such a variety of personalities will have fans enthralled with their unique styles and brands of tennis.”
“The entire tournament is delighted to welcome to KL such a nice mix of fresh faces and old friends. Additionally, there is a wonderful blend of established names and future marquee names that are readily nipping at the heels of those at the highest echelons of the ATP World Tour rankings.”
Between them the players in the line-up for the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 have won a total of 37 career titles including the season-ending Championship, the ATP World Tour Finals, and appeared in a total of 40 career finals including a Grand Slam.
Berdych remains one of the most consistent players on the Tour. The Czech is constantly featuring in the business end of tournaments. His great power and reach will be right at home on centre court at Putra Stadium. To prove his consistency this year Berdych, who has career earnings of over $8.5million, has reached the semis in Bastad, Halle, Nice, Dubai and Chennai and he made the quarters at another seven events including the Australian Open and Masters 1000 events in Montreal, Rome, Madrid and Miami.
“It’s great to have been so consistent as I wanted to do that before the season started,’ Berdych said. “I’m looking forward to trying to go further the rest of the year, but so far, the season has been solid.”
Meanwhile, Almagro, nicknamed “Nico”, is enjoying the best year of his career having won three titles, in Nice, Buenos Aires and Costa do Sauipe and reaching the finals in Hamburg and Acapulco. He was also a semi-finalist four times and made the quarters of the Masters 1000 in Montreal last week. This year Almagro, with his glorious single-handed backhand, also became the 25th Spaniard to crack the world’s top-10 and has already banked in excess of $1million in prize money for 2011.
“The only thing that I want is to be at peace with my tennis,” Almagro said. “The only thing I want is to keep on working; working like I am doing and for sure the results are going to keep on coming.”
Stars like Berdych, 2009 winner Nikolay Davydenko and defending champion Mikhail Youzhny have developed quite a following in Kuala Lumpur, but they will be challenged by an incredibly exciting band of young players who have made stunning forays on the world rankings in 2011.
The Australian Bernard Tomic will draw plenty of attention in KL. His amazing run at Wimbledon that saw him reach the quarter-finals from the qualifying rounds, made tennis observers around the world sit up and take note. Then there is the other teenager Ryan Harrison from the USA, who will gain entry into the tournament via a wild card if required, and who is being touted as the next big thing in American tennis. Many feel these two youngsters will develop quite a rivalry in the future and the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 could well provide an early glimpse of that.
Joining them will be the explosive game of Canadian Milos Raonic, winner of the San Jose title in 2011, who possesses one of the fastest serves in the world. Raonic made his breakthrough last year in Kuala Lumpur where he came through qualifying to reach the quarter-finals. The 20 year old from Ontario is thrilling to watch in full flight. His form this year has been so impressive that his ranking went from 156 at the start of the season to a career high of 25. Recently recovered from a hip injury that required surgery, he will be looking to continue his run of fine form that began last year in Malaysia.
Asian tennis is well represented with Japan’s Kei Nishikori and India’s Somdev Devvarman who have both made impressive strides in 2011, while Malaysia’s #1 Si Yew Ming will certainly have the local tennis community abuzz when he plays doubles with Ryan Harrison. The pair has been granted a wild-card into the main draw of the doubles.
The tournament is very happy to lay out the first-time welcome mat for the Austrian lefthander and Grand Slam doubles Champion and singles semi-finalist Jurgen Melzer, as well as two very colourful personalities in Viktor Troicki and Janko Tipsarevic, heroes of the victorious Serbian Davis Cup team.
The Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia are founding partners of the tournament, which is promoted and broadcast throughout Malaysia, Asia and the World.
“We are very pleased that the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 has once again attracted such a distinguished, international, group of tennis stars from places far and wide,” said YB Dato' Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia. “To see many of the players returning for the second and third time, is clear testimony to their appreciation of our country and the hospitality and tourism infrastructure for which we are so well known.”
Under the entry criteria 19 players have direct acceptance into the main draw. There are a total of three wild cards which are awarded to players at the Tournament Director’s discretion, and there are four places for qualifiers. Additionally, there are two places for “Special Exempts”, these go to players who cannot make it to the qualifying draw because they are still playing in the advanced stages of a tournament of the same level from the week before. If the Special Exempt positions are not required, then the next two players on the entry list will move into the main draw.
Tickets continue to sell at a tremendous pace under the new ticketing structure that was announced earlier in the year. Tickets are available through the event website or directly from TicketPro.
The Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011 promises to have an incredible atmosphere and this is an amazing opportunity to watch some of the best and most exciting tennis players in the world.
For more information and updates on the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2011, please log on to
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Local Media Director, Malaysia, Mr. Ghaz Ramli at 60-16 243 0848 or email

Monday, 12 September 2011

Dispute hampers Sea Games preparation

ONLY a dispute over the selection of tennis players is holding back the completion of Malaysia's contingent to the Sea Games in Indonesia.
And Chef-de-Mission Datuk Naim Mohamad is calling for the selection committee, chaired by Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar and the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM), to come to a consensus soon.
"This has to be done by the Sept 26 deadline for registration of athletes for the Sea Games. Apart from this, everything else is running smoothly," said Naim.
The issue surfaced apparently due to the LTAM's disagreement over the selection committee's decision on the number of players to represent the country under categories 'A' and 'B'.
The LTAM is said to be intending to use a competition from which winners will be selected for the Sea Games.
"The LTAM is adamant that the OCM had jumped the gun by not allowing it to decide on selection," said Naim.
In the heat of the dispute, OCM secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi had also been quoted in the press as stating that the LTAM had been withdrawn from the Sea Games.
"Whatever issues there are, they can be solved. It will not come to such a situation whereby the national team withdraws from the tennis competition," said Naim.
"We just all need to sit down together and find a solution to this." - Arnaz M. Khairul (NST)

Thais dominate KL Open

Thailand’s Achiraya Sripom completed a double in the women’s competition at last weekend’s Scomi Kuala Lumpur Open at the National Tennis Centre.
Achiraya started her day with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over compatriot Chompoothip Judakate in the singles final.
The 14-year-old champion pocketed RM1,000 while the runners-up received RM500 for her efforts.
Top seed Alyssa Boey, a former national champion, was eliminated in the quarter-finals while Sarawak’s second seed Choo Lyn Yuen lost in the semi-finals.
In the doubles final, the unseeded Achiraya-Chompoothip upset top seeds Alyssa-Lyn Yuen 6-3, 6-3.
Thailand’s unseeded Pruchya Isaro effortlessly overcame seventh seed Muhd Ashaari Zainal 6-1, 6-1 in the men’s singles final.
The 15-year-old, a member of Thailand’s Junior Davis Cup team, earned RM4,000 while Ashaari received RM2,000.
Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam-Ahmad Deedat clinched the doubles title by overcoming Azizul Zahar-V. Selvam 6-4, 6- 2.
The tournament, sanctioned by the Lawn Tennis As sociation of Malaysia (LTAM), was organised by the Kuala Lumpur Lawn Tennis Association (KLLTA).
KLLTA president Tan Sri Sallehuddin Mohamed, vice pres ident Mirzan Mahathir and Scomi Group chairman Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin presented the prizes.


Men’s singles — Pruchya Isaro (Tha) bt Muhd Ashaari Zainal 6-1, 6-1;
Doubles — Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam-Ahmad Deedat bt Azizul Zahar-V. Selvam 6-4, 6-2.
Masters singles — Marco Winter bt Najib Ibrahim 6-1, 6- 0;
Doubles — Najib Ibrahim-Nadir Ashraff bt Andrew Looi- Perrly Lim 6-3, 6-4.
Veteran singles — Terry Wong bt Zulkifli Kadir w/o;
Doubles — Zakaria-Selva bt Ahmad Imran-Yahya Zakaria 6-3, 6-4.
Women’s singles — Achiraya Sripom (Tha) bt Chompoothip Judakate (Tha) 6-2, 6-2;
Doubles — Achiraya Sripom-Chompoothip Judakate (Tha) bt Alyssa Boey-Choo Lyn Yuen 6-3, 6-3.


Thursday, 8 September 2011

KL Open makes a return

About 200 players will be participating in the KL Open Championships 2011 which will be held for four days starting today.

KL LTA vice president Mirzan Tun Dr Mahathir said the tournament, which was last held in 2005, would be held at two venues - the Jalan Duta National Tennis Centre and the KL City Hall Titiwangsa complex.

The championships, comprising of 10 categories including the men's and women's Open, offers a total of RM27,900 in prize money.

KL LTA decided to revive the tournament due to an increase in interest from the local tennis community and to promote the development of tennis in KL.

It is also to select and train the best tennis players to represent the Federal Territory in national tournaments, he said, adding that all of Malaysia's top five ranked national players including Si Yew Ming, Abd Hazli Zainuddin, Muhammad Ashaari Zainal Abidin, Ahmed Deeday Abd Razak and Syed Mohamad Agil Syed Naguib are expected to take part.

Mirzan said the KL Open was sanctioned by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia and would be part of the national championships whereby ranking points would be awarded to the winners.

He said top ranked tennis players from Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore are also expected to participate in the championships and their participation would improve the level of the game and raise the playing standards.

In conjunction with the championships, a Tennis Carnival will be held on Saturday at the indoor stadium in Jalan Duta. It is open to all - Bernama.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

LTAM pulls out of Sea Games

MALAYSIA will not be represented in tennis at the Indonesia Sea Games on Nov 11-22.
But the decision, made by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM), is seen as too drastic as it has spent a lot of money sending players for international training stints and tournaments.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) handpicked Si Yew Ming and Jawairiah Noordin as the country's representatives under Category 'A' (expenses covered by the council) but LTAM did not see this as fair as it wanted to conduct a proper selection trial.
Yew Ming and Jawairiah are the top men's and women's players in the country.
LTAM president Tan Sri Abdul Razak Latiff said the association's selection committee had wanted to conduct a trial to pick players for the Sea Games.
According to the LTAM website, the trial was supposed to be held on Oct 31- Nov 4.
"We have a selection committee to oversee the selection of players. Their interest is to make sure trials are conducted professionally and fair," said Abdul Razak yesterday.
"Furthermore, the Sea Games is a non-ranking tournament. It is an event where a player plays to win medals.
"I believe if we are to cough up funds, we rather send our players to WTA and ATP tournaments where they can get exposure and also earn ranking points."
At the 2009 Laos Sea Games, the national women's squad, then led by Jawairiah, earned a bronze in the team event but failed to make an impression in individual events.
LTAM had submitted its players' list for the Sea Games to OCM on July 27 but later decided on withdrawing from the biennial event.
According to OCM, the association cited that its players were not competitive enough to win medals as the standard of the Sea Games was high. - NST

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tenis tarik diri sertai Sukan SEA

KUALA LUMPUR - Pembangunan tenis tempatan menerima tamparan apabila Persatuan Lawn Tenis Malaysia (LTAM) membuat tindakan mengejut dengan membatalkan penyertaan pasukan negara dari Sukan SEA Indonesia, November ini atas alasan tidak mampu memberi cabaran kompetitif.
Keputusan tersebut dianggap terlalu drastik memandangkan badan induk kebangsan itu sudah menghantar nama pemain pada mesyuarat pemilihan pertama Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM), 27 Julai lalu.
Malah, LTAM juga sebelum ini sudah mengeluarkan jemputan kepada beberapa pemain utamanya, termasuk Jawairiah Noordin yang telah bersetuju untuk menerima pelawaan bertanding pada temasya 11 hingga 22 November ini.
Selain Jawairiah, 21, antara pemain yang disenaraikan LTAM, yang dijadual mengadakan sesi pemilihan pada 31 Oktober hingga 4 November ini adalah adik-beradik Boey, Adelle dan Alyssa serta S. Theiviya, anak bekas jurulatih kebangsaan, S. Selvarajoo dalam skuad wanita.
Si Yew Meng pula dijangka mengetuai cabaran lelaki bersama Ariez Elyaas, Deen Heshaam Tan Abdullah, Assri Merzuki dan Ahmad Deedat Abd Razak.
"Saya mengesahkan tenis tidak akan bertanding pada Sukan SEA tahun ini kerana LTAM telah membatalkan penyertaan semua pemainnya.
"Alasan yang diberikan mereka adalah pemain tidak mampu memberi cabaran kompetitif untuk memenangi pingat, memandangkan standard sukan tersebut pada Sukan SEA sangat tinggi,'' kata Setiausaha Kehormat MOM, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi.
Malaysia tidak pernah memenangi pingat emas pada Sukan SEA, malah pada Temasya Laos, dua tahun lalu kita hanya membawa pulang satu gangsa menerusi acara berpasukan wanita yang diketuai oleh Jawairiah.
Biarpun peluang pemain negara untuk menandingi tiga kuasa tenis Asia Tenggara, Thailand, Filipina dan Indonesia dilihat sukar, namun Sukan SEA tetap menjadi platform terbaik untuk membangunkan sukan itu, apatah lagi pemain kita tidak mungkin mampu bersaing pada tahap kejohanan yang lebih tinggi. - courtesy of Utusan

Monday, 5 September 2011

Bye-bye to Sea Games

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has confirmed that the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) has withdrawn its men’s and women’s teams from the Indonesia Sea Games on Nov 11-22.
According to OCM honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, LTAM felt that its players did not meet regional standards.
Jawairiah Noordin and Si Yew Meng were given Category A status by OCM for the assignment
LTAM’s decision, if it is true, is quite dumbfounding as they spent loads of money to train junior elite players in Spain.
The association’s decision is a poor one...... The sport has not made upward progress for the last few years thanks to them..... Elections are near.....