Chaiyaward and Iman set standards on court

Top finishers of the Tennis Malaysia Junior Tour leg one at the National Tennis Centre. (Inset) Chaiyaward finished the first leg as champion with a win in the Boys Under-16 Singles as well as a second place finish in the Under-16 category.

NUMBER two ranked junior tennis player  of 2018 Chaiyaward Phettani is off to a good start after solid performances during the first round of the 2019 Tennis Malaysia Junior Tour at the National Tennis Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Chaiyaward from Perlis proved his mettle after emerging as leg champion when he won the Boy’s Under-16 singles tittle and finishing runners-up in the Boy’s Under-16 Doubles category with Ariq Zayhin.

The 16-year-old, who is eyeing a spot in the Junior Davis Cup squad this year, finished first after a one-sided 6-0, 6-0 whitewash of Ryan Chee, who appeared to fall victim to a case of the nerves during his first appearance in a final match.

The unseeded 15-year-old Ryan had earlier upset number one seed Muhammad Nur Iman Mohd Noor Ariffin 7-5, 6-2 in the semi- final, but struggled to find his ground throughout the final and was unable to defend effectively against Chaiyaward’s continuous attacks to lose the match in an hour and a half.

Fourteen-year-old Iman Syuhada Abdullah from Negri Sembilan also lived up to her billing as a rising star after a double victory in the Under-16 Singles and Doubles event.

The third-ranked Under-16 player of 2018 captured the silverware in the doubles event with her partner and close friend Lim Zan Ning, winning 6-3, 6-2 against Chan Li Ying and Nicole Ross.

In the singles event, Iman went on to face Zan Ning, 14, and defeated her 6-2, 6-4 in the final.

“It was a very tight game; I was up 4-1 in the second set, then it was 5-3, but I had to fight hard to win from there and had to give a hundred per cent,” said the SMK Panchor Negri Sembilan student.

Nicole, last year’s Girls 16 and Under number one ranked player, lost to Zan Ning 6-2, 6-1 in the semi-final.

The defending number one who is 16 years old and active in the open circuit, intends to leave the junior circuit on a high by mounting a comeback despite the setback in leg one.

“It was my first time playing Zan Ning, and I wasn’t moving and hitting the ball very well in the semi-final. It is a setback but it is still a long way to go, and there are many things I still have to improve on.

“I don’t really feel any pressure to win the tour now. I’ll just try to have fun on court and even though I feel like I didn’t play well enough in the first leg, I learned from it and enjoyed the matches and look forward to Negri Sembilan,” she said.

“I finished on top last year and I want to maintain that in the Under-16 group again, but I will play more in the Open category as well to move on to the next level,” added Nicole.

The four-day tournament, which is the first of eight legs this year, saw 240 juniors from around the country compete in 18 categories catering to age groups between eight and 16, for boys and girls.

As with last year’s edition, this year’s tour will culminate in a Junior Masters invitational for the top eight players in each category and age group from November 18 to 22.

Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) president Mirzan Mahathir who presented the prizes to the winners said those who did not make it this time should not be deterred and encouraged them to improve themselves for the upcoming legs.

“We are glad to see the players from the lower age categories move up this year with a number of them even challenging in the older age groups, which is a good sign of development.

LTAM honorary secretary Mohd Rahizam Abd Rahim said he was pleased to see the number of participants increase from year to year along with the quality of the players.

This year’s corporate sponsors involved in the Junior Tour were Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, Betamek Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd, PG Mall Sdn Bhd, AmBank Bhd, Petron Malaysia and CCM Duopharma Biotech Bhd.

The second leg of the 2019 Tennis Malaysia Junior Tour will take place at Kompleks Belia dan Sukan Paroi in Negri Sembilan from Jan 30 to Feb 2. Final ResultsBoys Under-16 SinglesChaiyaward Phettani bt Ryan Chee (6-0, 6-0)

Boys Under-16 Doubles Cornelius Sia / Tan Li En bt Chaiyaward / Ariq Zayhin (3-6, 7-5, 12-10)

Boys Under-14 SinglesMuhd Zhahin Ielyas bt Thoybah Rahizam (6-2, 6-4)

Boys Under-14 DoublesRudra Thoybah / Rudra Raj bt Timothy Foo / Muhd Nur Fakhrul (6-2, 7-6(4))

Boys Under-12 SinglesScott Mc Niell bt Darrshan Suresh (6-3, 6-2)

Boys Under-12 DoublesDarrshaan Suresh / Devesh Sarawanan bt Scott McNeill / Muhd Annas Farish (6-2, 6-0)

Boys Under-10 SinglesDyad Mikael bt Dzarif Dzakwan (4-2, 4-1)

Boys Under-10 DoublesMuhd Adam Mukriz / Aqil Abidi Rahman bt Dzarif Dzakwan / Irshad Iszmi (4-1, 4-0)

Girls Under-16 SinglesIman Syuhada Abdullah bt Lim Zan Ning (6-2, 6-4)

Girls Under-16 Doubles Iman Syuhada Abdullah / Lim Zan Ning bt Chan Li Ying / Nicole Ross (6-3, 6-2)

Girls Under-14 SinglesSze Xuan Lim bt Shihomi Leong (3-6, 7-5, 6-3)

Girls Under-14 DoublesAthilla Miasara /Lim Sze Xuan bt Chan Yu Chi /Shihomi Leong (Walkover)

Girls Under-12 SinglesWan Noor Hidayah bt Hana Mohd Sahi (6-1, 6-1)

Girls Under-12 DoublesNur Iman Insyirah / Wan Noor Hidayah bt Hana Mohd Sahi / Nurin Taj Alya (6-4, 6-4)

Girls Under-10 SinglesJill McNeill bt Dania Daniella (4-2, 5-3)

Girls Under-10 DoublesJill McNeill / Nur Alyaa Maisarah bt Destiny Szeto / Zooey Mak (4-2, 4-0)

Boys Under-8 Mini Tennis John Yong bt Mohd Afiq Affandy (15-8, 15-9)

Girls Under-8 Mini Tennis Winner: Delisha Amanda

Second: Nur Sharafana Mohd Helmi

Third: J. Paarveen

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