Pic The Star
Loose cannon's late mum opted for early retirement from the teaching profession, in the early 90s, with SMK Dato Lokman as her final transit. Two of her students were Kamarulzaman Yusof, a member of the successful KL side and also an international, and Mohd Noor Dahari, younger brother of Mokhtar.
Now Dato Lokman has another international athlete in their stable. She's S. Theiviya, 17, Malaysia's sole representative in the BMW Malaysian WTA Open 2011. Daughter of ex-national coach S. Selvarajoo, Theiviya who spent two months honing her skills at the Albert Portas High Performance Training Camp in Barcelona last year, is aiming for a slot in the SEA Games later this year.
The BMW Malaysian Open 2011 is set to serve up the action to Malaysian audiences from 28th February to 6th March 2011 at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort.
The seven-day tournament will see 32 singles players and 16 doubles pairs competing for a total purse of USD 220,000.00.
Fresh from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, some of the players like Sania Mirza and Ayumi Morita will be looking towards making progress into later stages of the BMW Malaysian Open.
With so much at stake, with even top seeded players such as Francesca Schiavone and Marion Bartoli, will be aiming for redemption after their disappointments at Dubai.
The Japanese reached her career-high ranking of 64th in the world on July 6, 2009 and is currently the second highest ranked Japanese player in the world, after Kimiko Date Krum (ranked 52nd), and the eighth overall in Asia. At junior level, she reached a career high ranking of No. 3.
Morita is known for strong and consistent two-handed groundstrokes, which she hits very flat. She is also regarded as very tough mentally for a young player, often showing great resolve to win close matches despite a lacklustre serve.
For India’s Sania who participated in the 2009 Showdown of Champions, staying fit and out of the injury list will be her main target this season. She went down to Japanese qualifier Morita 4-6, 2-6 but looks towards putting up a better performance in Kuala Lumpur for the BMW Malaysian Open.
Meanwhile in clarifying as to why Malaysia opted to give a wild card to a player from Vietnam, Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia President Tan Sri Dato’ Abdul Razak Latiff said:
“The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia has a reciprocal understanding with our counterparts in Vietnam, whereby our junior players will be invited to play in International tournaments and vice versa, hence why a Vietnamese player was chosen as the other Wild Card at the BMW Malaysia Open 2011.
“The standards of Vietnamese tennis players are very high. In the spirit of promoting and nurturing Asian tennis players, it’s in the favour of the sport that we work together in tournaments that are held anywhere in Asia,” added Tan Sri Dato’ Abdul Razak.