PETALING JAYA: Fifth-ranked Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin (pic) has been a quiet force behind the scene in the men’s singles department but he is ready to make some noise now.
The 21-year-old Aidil is all pumped up to feature in his maiden stints at the Sudirman Cup in Vaanta, Finland from Sept 26-Oct 3 and Thomas Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark from Oct 9-17.
For the Sudirman Cup, he will play together with All-England champion Lee Zii Jia and Ng Tze Yong. He was selected ahead of the more experienced and second-ranked Cheam June Wei and Leong Jun Hao (3rd) for the mixed team event.
World No. 122 Aidil said he was surprised with his inclusion for both team events but promised to play to his true form.
“I am thankful for the chance as like any other player, I had dreamt of this opportunity,” said Aidil.
Aidil, the former player from Sports Affairs under Datuk Rashid Sidek, only joined the national team when he was 18.
The Selangor state player received a call after he had impressed at the 2018 Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Perak when he stunned top seed Jun Hao in the semi-finals before going down fighting to Tan Jia Wei in the final.
“I started my journey with a club and was selected to join the state training. When I was 17, I joined the Sports Affairs club and improved a lot under coach Rashid,” he said.
Although he has not won any international title under the BA of Malaysia, Aidil believes he is on the brink of a breakthrough.
“I’m more confident with the way I play. I’m no longer that player who used to be hesitant or cautious on court,” he said.
In the last international stint at the Poland International in March, Aidil suffered cramps and had to concede a walkover to Pablo Abian of Spain in the second round but he is doing extra to improve on his physical condition.
“I’m in better condition now,” added Aidil, who is doing extra training on Sundays to catch-up with the others in the team.