Imran impresses again
FORMER World Under-11 champion Imran Daniel Abdul Hazli defeated older players to clinch his first Asian 14 & Under Circuit crown in the Bangkok leg on Friday.
The 12-year-old Imran overcame a first set blemish to edge Australian Eric Padgham 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 for the boys’ singles title in only his fourth appearance on the circuit.
Imran also played in the doubles final with Christian Andre but an ankle injury affected his performance in the 6-2, 6-3 defeat to Laos’ Phathikone Kanyaphan and Thailand’s Taentawam Maggioli.
The youngster’s previous best was finishing third in the singles at the Kota Kinabalu leg last month.
Imran’s father-cum-coach Hazli Zainuddin said the win is a sign of huge progression.
“Imran defeated older players in each round to win the crown. I am proud of his success but he needs to work harder to achieve his dream of turning professional one day,” said Hazli in Bangkok yesterday.
“He will play another eight tournaments on the circuit ahead of the Orange Bowl Under-12 Championships in Florida in December. The event in the United States gathers all the best age-group players in the world.
“He has been progressing accordingly since winning the world Under-11 singles title in 2015. Last year, we did not travel for many events as we were focusing on his game development.
“His strengths are his forehand and athletic ability but he needs to put more effort on his serves and net play. He must also work on his mental strength as in tennis, this is the most important factor.”
Hazli said Imran has set a target of finishing in the top eight bracket in the circuit this season. Ajitpal Singh
Imran Daniel Abdul Hazli