KUALA LUMPUR: National tennis player Adam Jaya has decided to take the plunge into the professional ranks.
Adam, who turns 18 on Jan 10, said that it was time for him to compete in the ITF Satellite and Futures tournaments and begin collecting ranking points for him to play in the ATP Tour as soon as possible.
“I had a discusion with my coach (R. Ramachandran). We decided that I will not play in any more junior events even though I am still eligible to do so because it would not help much in improving my game,” said Adam, who quit school last year in his initial bid to improve on his junior ranking, which is in the top 200 bracket.
In the pro ranks, Adam will have to start from scratch.
“I don’t mind starting from zero once I leave the junior circuit because my aim now is to collect as many ranking points as I can to eventually compete in the ATP Tour,” said Adam, whose highest junior singles ranking was 149th in 2000.
“Anyway being a top junior does not equal a single point in the ATP rankings or guarantee success in the ATP Tour later. There will be no regret for me to stop playing in the junior circuit.”
Adam, who has been representing Malaysia in the Davis Cup for the past two years, added that improving on his fitness was the key to success in the professional circuit.
“I know it’s going to be tough even in the Satellites because I have to play in the qualifying rounds ... sometimes two matches in a day,” said Adam, who plans to take part in about five Futures events this year, starting in February.
“So getting very fit is crucial if I want to do well in these tournaments. I am feeling really confident right now and if everything goes well I hope to break into the top 800 in the ATP rankings by the end of this year.”
And if Adam’s ranking does get among the top 200, he needs to do well in the Challenger circuit (overall prize money of up to US$150,000 and more ranking points) before he can get into the ATP Tour.
The Satellite and Futures competitions' top overall prize money is US$25,000 but come with fewer points.