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Thursday March 28, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 24, 2013 MYT 2:09:07 PM
by percy dand#8217;cruz.
MALACCA: It was highly competitive tennis galore at the Ayer Keroh Tennis Centre over a 10-day span at the 6th Malacca International International Tennis Federation (ITF) Boys and Girls Under-18 Championships and the Malacca School Boys and Girls Under-18, 15 and 12 tournaments that collectively drew 624 players.
Held for a sixth consecutive year, the ITF event witnessed both qualifying round matches and competition proper with players from Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States taking part.
The players making the final stage decked by a 48-strong draw were all bent on earning ranking points towards making good their participation in graded tournaments leading to realisation of hopes and aspirations of becoming full-fledged tennis professionals.
According to Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia council member and also tournament director Lee Fock Mun, the Ayer Keroh Tennis Centre which was upgraded earlier this year by courtesy of the state government and the Hang Tuah Jaya Council, has won praise and recognition from the London-based ITF as an international tennis venue capable of hosing more major events.
Lee said: “The ITF has also expressed pride in Malacca hosting the Asian Tennis Federation Boys and Girls Under-14 individual competitions scheduled for June. Hopefully, if all goes well, the state will organise the international Junior Davis and Federation Cups team events and the ITF Play-and-Stay Tennis Programme, which is a tennis clinic for children under 10 years old next year.”
At the ITF Under-18 meet, honours were even with India, China, Japan and Indonesia picking up a title each in the boys and girls singles and doubles events. Garvit Batra of India clinched the boys singles title when he defeated Taiwan’s Richard Lin 3-6; 7-5; 6-1. Earlier in the semi-finals, Garvit stopped Malaysia’s Ahmed Deedat 7-5; 6-2 while Richard outplayed Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Chuen 6-2; 6-1.
In the boys doubles final, Indonesia’s Nuradim Ramdani-Armando Soemarno came on strong to post a comfortable 6-0; 6-2 win over the scratch India-Singapore pair of Jatinder Singh-Isaac Ong..
The eventual champions had earlier got past Sri Lanka’s Sharmal Dissanayake-Colin Wong 6-3; 6-2 while Jatinder Singh-Issac edged Japan’s Shoki Kasahara and Taiwan’s Lam Siu Chuen 5-7; 6-3; 6-4 in semi-finals.
Japan’s Kyoka Okamura needed three games to overcome tenacious Tami Grende of India in the girls singles final. After romping to a love set opening game, the 17-year-old Japanese lass dropped the second 2-6 before clinching the decider 6-4.
In the semi final outings, Tami defeated Marian Jade Capadocia of the Philippines 6-0; 6-2 while Kyoka sidelined Indonesia’s Efriliya Herlina 6-2; 6-1.
China got on to the scene by annexing the girls doubles crown through the fine efforts of Cao Siqi- Ying Zhang.
The Chinese pair posted a hard fought 6-4; 7-5 victory over Taiwan’s Huang En-Pei-Ma Yi-Chi. Earlier in the semi-finals the Chinese combination coasted to a 6-4; 6-4 win over Vic Alyssa-Maika Jae Tanpoco of the Philippines 6-4; 6-4 while Huang-Ma stopped Kazakhstan duo Sarvinoz Saidhujaeva-Komola Umarova 6-2; 1-6; 7-5.
Meanwhile, SM Tun Tijah picked up the Boys and Girls Under-15 singles titles to be listed as overall champions in the Malacca Schools tournaments. Mohamed Elwan captured the boys title beating Muhammad Abdullah Zubir of SM Durian Tunggal 6-3; 5-7; 7-5 while Suria Md Sofi defeated SM Yok Bin’s Faith Goh 6-3; 6-3 in the girls final.
In the prestigious Boys Under-18 singles final, Mohd Erza Azmer of Sekolah Intergrasi of Alor Gajah downed Aaron Yap of SM Yok Bin 6-1; 6-1 while Ang May Gin of Wesley Methodist defeated Celine Tan of St. David’s High School 6-3; 6-3 to win thegirls title.
In the Boys Under-12 final, Mohd Haziq Aiman of SK Gangsa easily defeatedLeroy Yong of SM Yok Bin 6-0; 6-2 while Quraqtu Maisara of SK Syed Ahmad Shahbudin notched wins over Kok Joo Yi of SK Bukit Baru and Chong Hu Zhi of SK Yok Bin by similar 6-3 pro set scores in the one-round league in the Girls Under-12 division.
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