PETALING JAYA: National junior squash player Amir Amirul Azhar (pic) will be playing in his first ever overseas professional tournament but he is already eyeing a huge upset.
The 16-year-old lad from Kelantan has been thrown into the deep end in his first fray abroad and will take on the top seed, New Zealand’s Evan Williams, in the first round of the Cairns Open in Australia tomorrow.
“I’m feeling a bit nervous before my first PSA (Professional Squash Association) event overseas. I have only played in PSA tournaments at home, ” said Amir.
“But if my coaches have decided to send me abroad, it means they trust in my abilities and believe I can do well there.”
Amir has been one of the rising stars locally, having won several junior titles but it will be a tough task to topple the far more experienced world No. 107.
In addition, the 30-year-old Williams has already beaten Amir’s seniors like Darren Rahul Pragasam and Ong Sai Hung earlier this year.
Only 25-year-old Addeen Idrakie has managed to get the better of Williams in the final of the Elanora Open in Australia in March.
“It will be difficult but I have nothing to lose and the pressure is on Evan. Maybe I can get an upset, ” said Amir.
“I got some advice from Addeen to try and trouble Evan a bit on the court.
“Hopefully, his advice will work for me.
“The important thing for me is to get some invaluable experience from facing professional opponents in other countries and different conditions.
“It will be a good chance to learn a lot from someone like Evan.”