Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tennis and I

Much to my regret, I never took up tennis. In retrospect, there were plenty of opportunities for me to play the game as my late Ayah was a social player. He never left home without his Wilson tennis bag. He was a member of the Sultan Sulaiman Club (KSS) at Kampung Baru.

Ayah not only had a good forehand but he once refereed a football match where former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) supremo Datuk Peter Velappan was playing.

Instead of picking up tennis, I grew up playing football, what else. By the age of 10, I was a member of Darjah Empat Merah that became inter-class champions of St John's Primary (1). I even enjoyed the distinction of scoring with my left foot, a thunderous shot that shaved the bar before crossing the line (there was no net then). While I went on stage to pick up the prize during Awards Day, Adik Man showed a glimpse of his early potential by bagging the English award, I think. It was therefore not a surprise that he became the winner of the Lembaga Tabung Haji Award and the Tan Sri Kadir Award, as best student for Bachelor of Laws and best student for Bachelor of Laws (Syariah) of the IIUM, as reported by the New Straits Times in November 1997. Man's convocation was held 26 days before Ayah passed away peacefully in his sleep in Johor.

Man and the cute-looking soon to be loose cannon with our respective prizes. Even at the age of seven he was almost my size

Despite my love for football, Ayah must have tried to subtly persuade me to try tennis as well because when I was 14, Ayah gave me my first pair of sneakers. It was a pair of Diadora trainers with Bjorn Borg's name to it! Ayah bought them in Singapore during the days when everything across the Causeway was cheaper. Although I was a keen follower of the game and an avid fan of Ivan Lendl and Gabriela Sabatini, I never picked up the racquet. I guess it's too late now.

On Nov 18, Borg will be coming for the Showdown of Champions 2008. How I wish I could take Ayah to the game. I'm sure Adlin M Zabri (below right) as the organiser can provide me tickets!

BEAUTY and THE BEAST...Edleen Ismail of ESPN Sportscenter (left) is not to be mistaken for Adlin M Zabri, former NST and BT journo and press secretary of Anwar Ibrahim
But the showdown of champions (read the official website) must not be mistaken for the Kings of Tennis here. Whatever it is, tennis fans in Malaysia will be in for a treat. Many moons ago I covered Michael Chang when he came for the Salem Open. This time, Putra Stadium will be graced by legends - Federer, Blake, McEnroe and Borg, champions from two different eras. Penangites will get to meet the likes of Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg and Marcelo Rios in the flesh!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

You may not have played tennis but people inside the sports circle say you have a good backhand. No doubt handy when you spar with Anwar's press sec.

Pejuang Ufuk Timur said...

Rizal Hashim and Adlin? Together? Hmm that deserves a blog posting on its own right there! :)

fariq said...

lu aangkat semua lah... semua sports pun u wanted to take up....

Anonymous said...

gua nak
tahniah kat lu sebab gua dengar lu dah dapat jadi consultant media untuk game tenis ni dan lu dengan adlin cium-molot.

gua tak sangka lu kaut semua sukan, gua pelik mana satu lah lu ni bagus kat FAM lu ada kat MHF luata LTAM lua ada, MSN lua ada, OCM luada
agak-aka lu kat mana yang lu tak ada dude

beristeri pada satu berkasih pada seribu itu lah gua rasa lu punya perinsip

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anon jgn jeles la, people like Mr. Loose Cannon (LC) dia sapu semua, when & where else to do so xcept in M'sia. Tak kan nak buat kat France kot. Bila lagi nak cium-molot or sapu bersih all the big events ni.

nstman said...

brudder, if you had taken up tennis, you could have become Malaysia's John McEnroe, a real loose cannon. Instead you are now barking up the wrong tree. Sorry, brudder, for being so direct.

mat sewel said...

aiks..tennis pulak? Kuda apa jadi?

BerBakti said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
hcfoo said...

Hey there Rizal! Stumbled upon your blog. I didn't know you have a good backhand ;)

Purple Haze said...

Based on recent news reports, it looks like Penangites will not get to see the Kings of Tennis due to the local organisers not coming up with the cash !