PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia hopes to have a player ranked in the top 100 in the world within the next five years.
With this in mind, the Mamee Tennis Malaysia Junior Tour has been introduced to give junior players more competition experience.
The Tour comprises eight legs and is an invaluable addition to the current junior tournaments – the SportExcel Under-14 (four legs) and Tennis 10s (three legs).
For the Tour, there will be four age-group categories – Under-10, Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16 for boys’ and girls’ singles and doubles.
The first leg will start in Malacca from Saturday to Tuesday. The subsequent legs will be held in seven other states – Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Kedah, Perlis, Sabah, Johor and Sarawak.
The top 16 players from each age group will be invited to play in the Masters in Kuala Lumpur from Dec 18-21.
Each leg will offer a total of RM4,800 prize money while the total purse for the Tour-ending Masters will be RM26,000.
Tennis Malaysia chairman Mirzan Mahathir said that the junior players will be able to experience what it’s like to be on a Tour and playing at different venues in Malaysia.
“We will do our part to bring tennis back to prominence. When events like these are well organised, there will be no dearth of talent in the country.
“What’s needed are more opportunities for them to compete and sharpen their playing skills.
“Players aged 11, 12, 15 and 16 have been neglected in the past.
“We hope to put one player inside the top 100 within the next five years. We will not be able to if there is no proper development plan. Ideally, a player should be looking at going for 20 competitions a year if he or she is looking at making it.
“This is the vision of Tennis Malaysia,” he said.