Malaysian teen tops PH star Alberto Lim in KL ahead of SEA Games
Teenager Shamirul Shahril Ahmad Das warmed up for his maiden SEA Games tennis appearance next month in fine style by powering his way to the Betamek KL Open men’s singles title.
The 19-year-old beat Philippines No. 1 ranked player Alberto Jr Lim 6-4,2-6,6-2 in the final at the National Tennis Centre in KL Sunday to become only the second Malaysian winner after Ahmad Deedat Abdul Razak in 2016 to achieve the feat.
Shamirul pocketed RM8,000 (P97,000) as the champion. Still, it was no easy win. Shamirul took almost three hours of battling to be confirmed as the only Malaysian winner of the week-long championship, which is part of the Tennis Malaysia National Circuit. In the semi-finals on Saturday, Shamirul defeated another Filipino Francis Casey Alcantara 6-4,7-5 while Lim ended the title aspirations of Malaysia’s Christian Didier Chin 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-2).
The KL Open was the final evaluation tournament and Shamirul and Christian were thus confirmed to be the two men’s singles players to feature in the Philippines SEA Games.
“This is my first final appearance this year and I have won the title. I didn’t expect to beat Alberto today as he is the current top singles player in Philippines and he was ranked as high as 12th in the ITF junior rankings before.
“He is a very good player and he will be a medal hopeful at his home SEA Games.
“I was a little surprised with my performance also as my body didn’t feel good because I was still fighting jetlag. I had just returned last week from two weeks of playing a competition in Egypt.
“But beating three top players from this region in the last three days has given me confidence going into the SEA Games, ” said Shamirul, who overcame Thailand’s Noppadol Noikor 3-6,6-1,6-3 in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Christian was a disappointed young man as he had to settle for a runner-up finish in the men’s doubles final.
He partnered Australian Jason Taylor and took the fight to Philippines pair Alcantara-Jeson Patrombon before going down, 3-6,6-4,11-13.
The KL Open, with RM69,150 in total prize money, is the highest paid tennis championships in the country this year. It attracted 30 foreign players.
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