Monday, March 30

Another busy year for SLTA as 2020 calendar revealed

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Dato Patrick Liew

KUCHING: The Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) will be hosting the Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying of Junior Fed Cup and the Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying of the Junior Davis Cup from March 28 to April 4 and from April 6 to 11 respectively at the SLTA Tennis Centre.

This was announced by SLTA president Dato Patrick Liew in a press conference at I-Cube Innovation yesterday.

“The back-to-back tournaments are two of the five international events that we are going to organise this year.”

Liew added that they would kick of the season with the prestigious 35th Sarawak Chief Minister’s Cup (I) ITF World Tennis Tour J1 Sarawak from March 10 to 15, as the curtain raiser.

“Two other international events are the Sarawak 15th ATF Asia 14/Under Series from Sept 2 to 6 and the 36th Sarawak Chief Minister’s Cup (II) ITF World Tennis Tour J3 Sarawak from Sept 29 to Oct 4,” he said.

Admitting that it will be another busy and challenging year for SLTA, Liew said the association is taking it very positively, adding that his organising committee is capable of handling the events as they have already obtained the appropriate experience after 24 years of organising such events.

SLTA last hosted the Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying of Junior Fed Cup and the Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying of the Junior Davis Cup in 2018. It were held in India last year.

“As we have organised both tournaments for many times and are in the good books of the International Tennis Federation, we were successful in the bidding,” said Liew, adding that he had also met ITF president David Haggerty in London to further discuss on the host job.

Sixteen teams each will be fighting in Kuching for the four tickets to the World Finals of Junior Fed Cup and World Finals of Junior Davis Cup to be held in July or September.

Twelve teams for each tournament had already been confirmed while four others will be decided in the pre-qualifying to held in Indonesia from Feb 24 to 29.

Liew said that they might also bid for the ATF US$15,000 or WTA US$15,000 Futures event.

“As the vice president of LTAM (Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia) and chairman of ITF tournament and officiating committee, I will be putting forward my proposal for organising an ITF or WTA event.

“Organising such event is very expensive. We need between RM150,000 and RM200,000 to organise it and we need to get corporate sponsors apart from getting some allocation from ITF/WTA.”

SLTA is also committed in organising tournaments for local players in the state despite their busy schedule at the international level.

Liew, who is also Kuching Division Lawn Tennis Association (KDLTA) president, said the association would organise six local events this year.

“We will be organising the Kuching Closed in March, Inter Division and Sarawak Closed in April, KDLTA Closed Veterans Mixed Double League in June, KDLTA Novice Championship in July, KDLTA closed Team in August and the Dato President Cup in September.

“Apart from that, we are also holding the Junior Monthly Medal on every last Saturday and Sunday of the month,” he added.

By organising local tournaments, Liew said it would help local players at all ages to stay active in tennis and promote the sport.

He also took the opportunity to thank the local media for providing comprehensive coverage of the international events.

Liew also thanked ITF, ATF and LTAM for their continuous support to SLTA.