Imran im­presses again

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.