Following a breakthrough 2019 season, up-and-coming Shamirul Shahril Adam Das hopes to continue making strides at international level this year.
Shamirul’s performances in the second half of last year saw him winning the Betamek Kuala Lumpur Open in addition to reaching the quarter-finals of the Philippines Sea Games, where he had scalped Thailand No 1 and second seed Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul in the second round.
The 19-year-old’s positive transition to senior-level tennis saw him subsequently being named Player of the Year at the Tennis Malaysia Ace Award last month.
Shamirul will be heading to Egypt next month to play in four US$15,000 (RM60,901) tournaments and also on the cards is a training-cum-competition stint in the United States.
“The goal this year is to gain more experience and also break into the top 1,000 in the world rankings. At the moment, I am at 1,900 with only one point,” said Shamirul, who is from Batu Pahat, Johor.
“I will be playing four hard court tournaments in Sharm El Sheikh in February and March. It will be a good opportunity for me to collect points.
“But I will need to go through the qualifiers (three matches) and also win one match in the main draw to start getting points, so it will not easy.
“I might also go to the US to play some tournaments and train there in April or May but that is not confirmed yet. It is still being planned.”
Shamirul, whose idol is Swiss maestro Roger Federer, has set a target of breaking into the world’s top 10 and to win a grand slam tournament one day.
In addition to Tennis Malaysia’s (TM) support, Shamirul has also secured private sponsorship for this season, and not a corporate sponsorship from Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad as Timesport inadvertently reported on Monday.