SLTA lines up five international championships this year

Liew (second left) with (from left) Douglas, Chin and Kho after the press conference.

KUCHING: The Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) will be hosting five international tennis championships this year.

SLTA president Dato Patrick Liew said the association’s curtain-raiser is the 31st Sarawak Chief Minister Cup (I) ITF Junior Circuit (Grade 1) from March 13 to 18.

“We are expecting around 150 players from a minimum of 21 countries for this championship,” he said at a press conference at SLTA tennis centre.

SLTA has also been entrusted by ITF to organise the back-to-back Junior Davis Cup (JDC) Asia Oceania Final Qualifying from April 9 to 14 and Junior Fed Cup (JFC) Asia Oceania Final Qualifying from April 16 to 21.

“We are happy that after a lapse of four years, the two prestigious competitions will be held in Kuching again,” said Liew who added that the two events were held in India and Thailand for the past four years.

According to him, SLTA would receive a grant of about RM210,000 from ITF to organise the JDC and JFC final qualifying events.

“This year, we are looking to do it with a difference where a grand opening and a grand welcoming dinner has been planned.

“Besides providing hospitality, medical treatment for the participating teams, we are to make special security arrangements to ensure that the participants will feel safe while in Kuching,” said Liew.

He is also hoping to get the support from all quarters involved in the organising and running of the international events.

“I hope our media friends will continue to help us by providing comprehensive coverage for the competitions,” added Liew.

SLTA will be hosting the 13th ATF Asian 14 and Under Series from Sept 19 to 23 but the dates are subject to confirmation as they clash with Sukma XIX in Perak from Sept 12 to 22.

The final international event on SLTA calendar is the 32nd Sarawak Chief Minister Cup (II) ITF Junior Circuit (Grade 3) from Oct 16 to 21.

“The five international events are expected to generate a revenue of RM1.5 million for the state sports tourism industry where hotels, taxis/transporters, restaurants, laundry shops, racket stringers and other related industry will benefit,” he said.

Liew said SLTA are also in the process of applying to host a Men’s Futures US$15,000 which would be held in July.

Apart from the international events, the local tennis fraternity is not forgotten as local tournaments such as the Monthly Medals, Kuching Closed, Sarawak Closed and Inter-Division, Inter-Team, President Cup will also be organised.

Also present were SLTA vice president Douglas Telajan, secretary Bernard Chin and treasurer Kho Siak Khoi.

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