NEGRI Sembilan’s Ahmad Faiz Shamsuddin slogged for three hours to put down Penang’s Mohd Asykal Azhar in the 32nd Perlis-Milo Tuanku Syed Putra International Junior Tennis Championships Boys’ Under-16 singles final.
Ahmad Faiz cruised to a 5-1 lead early in the first set at the Perlis Sports Complex in Jalan Kampung Pondok, Kangar, but his opponent Mohd Asykal never gave up, resulting in the former losing control of the match last Thursday.
Mohd Asykal took advantage of the situation to draw level at 6-all and went on to win the first set at 7-6 after a tie.
Ahmad Faiz came back to win the second set at 6-3 but almost succumbed again in the deciding third set if not for Mohd Asykal sustaining an injury.
Superb performance: Indonesia's Shevita Aulana (front) and Hanna Levina are all smiles after receving their trophy from Tuanku Syed Badarudin (right) for winning the Under-14 doubles title in the Perlis-milo Junior International tennis tournament in Kangar
Realising the risk of losing the title after having started well Ahmad Faiz steadied himself to take the next two games for a 5-3 lead but at this point Mohd Asykal suffered thigh cramps and needed a five minutes injury time-out to recover.
Back on his feet, Mohd Asykal won the next point to make the score 4-5.
But Mohd Asykal’s movements were obviously restricted by his injury and Ahmad Faiz had the luxury of serving out the match for a 6-4 win in the final set.
Earlier, in the semi-finals Ahmad Faiz seeded 4th, defeated top seed Nicholas Kong (Singapore) by 6-2, 6-4 while Mohd Asykal downed Gorunov Temur (Uzbek) by 7-6, 6-4 to set up the final showdown.
Eye on the ball: Umarova Kamilia returning a shot during her final against Indonesia's Shevit Aulana in the Girls Under-14 singles
Ahmad Faiz also won the doubles title a day earlier to make it a grand double.
He partnered his teammate Noor Faeezam Said to pack off Singapore’s third seeded pair of Ong Wei Yao and Trevor Phua by 6-4, 6-4 in the finals.
Meanwhile, Asia’s seventh ranked Under-14 star from Perlis, Koay Hao Sheng, lived up to his tag by demolishing South Africa’s Richard Thongoana who was making his international debut by handing him a 6-0, 6-1 tennis lesson in the final.
Earlier in the semi-finals, Hao Sheng defeated his doubles partner Christian Alvin Edison of Indonesia by 6-1, 6-4 while Thongoana defeated Radzabov Sherzoob (Uzbek) 6-3, 6-1.
Hao Sheng also added the doubles title to his name when he partnered Edison to defeat the top seeds from South Africa, Bertus Kruger and Hugh Morgan, by 6-2, 6-3 in the finals.
Korea’s Lim Seung Jun won the Boys Under-12 singles beating his teammate Lee Won Seok 6-0, 6-3 in the finals. The duo later joined forces in the doubles to overcome a Negri Sembilan-Sabah combination of Daniel Ahmad Farid and Christian Didier 7-5, 6-2 in the doubles final.
In the Girls’ Under-10 category Oh Yu Gyeong defeated her doubles partner Kim Yoon A 6-1, 6-4 to win the singles title. They combined in the doubles final to overcome Clare Cheng (Singapore) and Pete Komada (Japan) 6-2, 6-3 in the doubles final.
A record number of 452 players including 140 players from 12 foreign countries participated in the five-day event sponsored by Nestle and supported by Tourism Malaysia.
The prizes were given away by Perlis-Milo Tuanku Syed Putra International Junior tennis championships organising committee chairman Tuanku Syed Badarudin Jamalullail Syed Putra and Kangar MP Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Tan Sri Sheikh Ahmad.