Monday, 11 February 2013

Aslina leads team to sixth place

 NATIONAL champion Aslina Chua led the national Fed Cup team to a sixth place finish on their return to the Asia/Oceania Group II competition which ended on Sunday in Astana, Kazakhstan.
   The team, also comprising S. Theiviya, Alyssa Boey and Nurin Nabila Roslan, notched wins over Kyrgyzstan (2-1) Pakistan (3-0) and Iran (3-0) but lost to Indonesia (3-0) and the Philippines (3-0) to finish third in Group B.
   In the play-off match for fifth position, Malaysia were thrashed 3-0 by Vietnam, led by Huynh Trang Phuong Dai.
   Aslina and Theiviya were the team’s best performers, winning three of their six respective matches each.
   Indonesia beat Hong Kong 2-0 to win the competition and promotion to Group I next year.
   Malaysia last played in the Fed Cup, hosted in Kuala Lumpur, in 2010 where the team, led by former World No 329 Khoo Chin Bee, finished fourth.

Double blow dampens states’ enthusiasm to develop tennis

KUALA LUMPUR: Tennis is an Olympic sport, offers lucrative prize money and is hugely popular globally.
In Malaysia though, the sport is being completely ignored. It has not been selected as a programme in the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Bukit Jalil from June 28-July 7.
The sport also suffered a double disappointment when it was recently dropped from this year’s SEA Games in Myanmar.
And a frustrated Johnson Koh, the Sabah Tennis Association (SBA) president, feels that the double blow has dampened the enthusiasm shown by the various states to develop the sport.
“Most of us at the state level are very frustrated with this. We’ve put in so much effort to groom the youngsters, who have trained hard and were looking forward to these Games. But now, we do not have a competitive platform to gauge their standards,” he said.
“Sukma is held on alternate years. States hold it one year and Putrajaya the other. We were made to understand that if the states do not choose tennis, it will then be hosted in Putrajaya. Unfor­tunately, it was not hosted last year (in Malacca) and it is not in this year’s programme either.
“How are we to convince parents to encourage their young ones to take up the sport when they have nothing to look forward to. The national body (LTAM) have their age-group tournament but we are short of competitive tournaments.”
He was also disappointed that the national players have now also lost another platform to gauge themselves following Myanmar’s decision to drop the sport at the biennial Games this year.
“This is sad. For a sport that is so popular worldwide, it doesn’t get much of a chance here in Malaysia or this region. I hope our local authority will review their decision and give these aspiring youngsters a break ... give them a shot to make tennis a career,” said Johnson, who is also an exco member of LTAM.-

Kuching dominates MSS Sarawak Tennis Championship

KUCHING: Defending champions Kuching made a successful defence of their crown when they dominated the MSS Sarawak Tennis Championship again by winning nine out of 12 categories at the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association Centre yesterday.

National Boys Under 15 number one player Alvin Teng achieved more success this week when he clinched the U-15 singles title by edging Adrian Lim 8-6 in the all-Kuching final.

The joint third place winners were Farith of Kuching and Charles Runyaam of Miri.

En route to the final, Teng received a first round bye and thumped Satreenraj of Samarahan 8-0 in the second round.

He followed up with a 3-0 victory over Mohd Irfan from Bintulu in the last eight and went on to beat Charles of Miri 8-5 in the semi-finals.

Last week, Teng won the Boys U-15 singles title in the MSSM Kuching Tennis Championships.

He had also captured the Boys U-15 singles and doubles titles at the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) Sportexcel Under 14 Tennis Circuit 1st Leg in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 23.

In the Boys U-18 singles final, state MSSM player Augustine Chang suffered an injury on his right ankle and conceded the title to his teammate Kenneth Tan.

Tan was leading Chang 6-5 when the latter retired.

The injury also affected Chang’s performance in the Boys Under 18 doubles final when he and partner Kenneth Tan went down lost 6-8 to another Kuching pair Ricco Soh-Shane.

The Boys U-12 singles final saw Isaac Noah beating Mohd Aiman 8-0 in an all-Kuching final.

Kuching also won the Boys U-15 doubles title where Adrian-Mark beat their teammates Sean-Farith 8-6.

The Boys U-12 doubles title went to Md Aiman-Mitchell of Kuching who beat teammates Nicklaus-Nurhadzmi 8-6 in the final.

Kuching’s other titles came from national Girls U-18 singles player Choo Lyn Yuen of Kuching who blanked Amanda Sim of Miri 8-0 in the Girls U-18 singles final, Goh Qing who beat Isabella Sim of Sibu 8-0 in the Girls U-12 singles final, and Angeline-Brigita who defeated Miri’s Nur Irdina -Esther 7-3 in the Girls U- 12 doubles final.

Miri finished second overall by winning three titles while Sibu came in third.

Belinda Chai gave Miri their first title when she thumped Linda Leong of Bintulu 8-0 in the Girls U-15 singles final.

Belinda then partnered Virvienica to win the Girls U-15 doubles title by beating Kirstin Leong-Alia Azman of Kuching 8-6.

Miri’s Amanda-Annabella then beat Andrea-Charlene 8-2 in the Girls U-18 doubles final.

The three-day competition organised by MSS Sarawak and hosted by MSSM Kuching saw 84 players including 35 girls from Kuching, Samarahan, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu taking part.

Kuching District Education Officer Mahli Rosli closed the event and gave away the prizes.

The top five players from each category will represent Sarawak in the MSSM Tennis Championships to be hosted by Sarawak this year from Mar 23-27 at the same

Daniela and Jelena enter the fray

SLOVAKIAN Daniela Hantuchova (picture courtesy of and Serbian Jelena Jankovic will join former Danish World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the WTA BMW Malaysian Open, on Feb 25-March 3, in Kuala Lumpur.

Daniela, the World No 58 and a winner of four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, has a good record in Asia, having won the Pattaya Open in 2011 and 2012 as she aims for her sixth career singles title on her debut.

The 30-year-old, however, has yet to reach her peak following a string of average performances this season.

Jelena, a former World No 1 and a grand slam mixed doubles champion, will feature in a tournament in Kuala Lumpur, where she reached the semi-finals last season, since the Australian Open.

China's Zheng Jie, a two-time grand slam doubles winner, has been offered the third wild card but the World No 46 has yet to confirm her availability.

Caroline, who reached the last-16 in Melbourne, will need to produce something special in Kuala Lumpur to become the first top seed to win the Malaysian Open on her debut.

The former World No 1 has won 20 tour titles, including five in Asia.

Taiwan's Hsieh Su Wei, a two-time tour champion, has switched her focus to singles this season as the World No 25 aims to become the first player to retain a title in Kuala Lumpur.

Serbian Bojana Jovanovski and Japanese Ayumi Morita are the other top draws hoping to get their hands on the singles title after previous failed attempts.

Bojana, a first round casualty last season, is looking forward to a good season after achieving her career-high ranking of 38 on Jan 28 while Ayumi, a finalist in the inaugural edition in 2010, is aiming to emulate her idol and teammate Kimiko Date-Krumm on the tour.

Others in the main draw, barring withdrawals, are Greece's Eleni Daniilidou, Taiwan's Chan Yung Jan, Australia's Casey Dellacqua, Japan's Misaki Doi and the Pliskova sisters, Kristyna and Karpolina of the Czech Republic.

On the local front, Aslina Chua has accepted a wild card for the qualifiers while the second spot is expected to go to S. Theiviya.-