TENNIS Malaysia (TM) are optimistic of a positive outing at the Philippines Sea Games (Nov 30-Dec 11) following the national team’s unexpected run to the final of last week’s Belt and Road Kunming International Championship.
Team manager Datuk Salahuddin Kamal said he was surprised by his charges’ performances.
Malaysia were represented by Syed Agil Syed Naguib, Shamirul Shahril Adam Das, Christian Didier Chin, Jawairiah Noordin, S. Theviya and Suhana Sofia Adam Das in the mixed team non-ranking tournament.
They defeated Timor Leste, Mongolia, Laos, Brunei and defending champions Anning of China en route to the final where they were edged 3-2 by Hong Kong. Last year, Malaysia finished sixth in the tournament.
“The 3-2 win over Anning in the semi-finals was fulfilling as they were represented by quality players,” said Salahuddin in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
“We lost Jawairiah to a hamstring injury in the final, but Suhana stepped up to put us level after Agil had lost the opening men’s singles match.
“Despite the defeat to Hong Kong, I am still proud of the players. We were just unable to do well on the big points. Even Hong Kong (officials) admitted they were lucky to beat us.”
Salahuddin believes Malaysia’s performance in Kunming bodes well for the national team in the Sea Games.
“It is a bit early to make any predictions for the Sea Games but please be prepared for a surprise,” added Salahuddin.
The team earned RM90,000 in prize money for finishing second in Kunming.