Tuesday, December 6

S’wak duo among 85 to kick off World J1 Tennis Tour

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Lydia Liong

KUCHING (Oct 4): The 20th Malaysia Games have barely ended but two state tennis players are already eagerly looking forward to the next in two years.

Lydia Liong and Hii Shieng Wee revealed yesterday that they can’t wait to represent Sarawak again in the 21st Sukma.

Hii Shieng Wee

“Of course we are looking forward to the next Sukma games because we believe that the state Sukma tennis team has a vision which gives us motivation,” said Hii.

He is upbeat about joining training with other Sarawak players and coaches because he believes he is capable of making a significant contribution in 2024.

Liong shared the same positive sentiments and went to the extent of eyeing the next Sukma as a mission to accomplish.

“What is important for me is that I compete in the next games as a better player than the one I am now and I will work hard for that,” she pledged.

Both players expressed confidence in the plans and role of the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) on the journey to the 2024 Johor Sukma.

Sarawak won one gold and one silver medal in tennis at Sukma XX  held in Kuala Lumpur from September 16 to 24.

Muhd Aiman Hamdan and Jimmy Liong Kai Long lifted the men’s doubles title while Aiman paired up with Soo Hui Yii to finish runner-up  in the mixed doubles.

Sarawak tennis players have seen better days in past Sukma editions. However, it is noteworthy that the state has never failed to bring back at least a medal in the sport from each and every Sukma outing.

At the end of the recent Sukma the SLTA also announced that it has already identified certain players in the backup squad, including Hii and Liong, to meet the Sukma challenge in 2024.

Meanwhile, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Junior Tennis Tour J1, also known as the 36th Sarawak Premier Cup, kicked off at the SLTA courts here yesterday.

A total of 48 boys and 37 girls from 30 countries are in action including Hii and Liong from the hosting state.

The ITF World Junior Tennis Tour features over 650 tournaments in 140 countries.

The tour sees players compete across six performance grades from J5 (starting grade), J4, J3, J2, J1 to JA (which includes the Junior Grand Slams).

The J1 tournament this year is hosted by SLTA in Malaysia.