10-Year-Old Imran Wins 2 Singles Titles To Become First Malaysian World Champ In Tennis
Earlier on Sunday, 8 November, uber talented Imran Daniel Abdul Hazli, aged 10, etched his name in sports history by claiming two singles titles at the World Junior Masters tournament in Turkey
The Kuala Lumpur-born won the Under-10 and Under-11 titles
According to a report in The Star Online, Imran survived a marathon roller coaster final to beat top seed Dan Vasile Duta of Romania 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4) for the boys' singles Under-11 title. He had earlier won the Under-10 title with relative ease, crushing Dutch player Manvydas Balciunas 6-0, 6-0, The Star reports.
Imran, coached by his father and former national player Abdul Hazli Zainuddin, was playing on a wildcard entry for the Under-11 title
He got his campaign going with a first round 6-2, 6-1 win over Tunisian Youssef Labbene. The 10-year-old defeated Swiss fourth seed Kilian Feldbausch 6-2, 6-1 in the quarter-finals on Friday. In the semi-finals on Saturday, Imran overcame second seed American Vasyl Yazadchiev 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.
In the Under-10 group stage, Imran beat Tunisia's Karim Fendri 6-0, 6-1, Scotland's Hector Edmund Fullone 6-0, 6-0 and Latvia's Maksims Kazancevs 6-0, 6-0 to reach the semi-finals as Group A winner. Then in the last four on Saturday, Imran used his booming forehands to beat Omar Knani of Tunisia 6-3, 6-2.
Imran has been making waves since August when he showed his potential in grabbing the championship trophy in the Stars of Tomorrow tennis tournament in Hohr-Grenzhausen, Germany
Although unseeded at that time, 10-year-old Imran had brought Merdeka Day joy to the nation on 30 August with a stunning triumph in the Base 11 and under Stars of Tomorrow tennis tournament in Hohr-Grenzhausen, Germany.
Despite playing in a clay-court tournament for the first time, Imran managed to climb to the final and ultimately beat top seed Nicolas Philibert of England 6-2, 6-1.
His father is delighted with Imran's achievements
"I think Imran has improved tremendously since the last tournament. He's beating opponents with much better scores. The upgraded training and fitness programmes for the last two months have brought him to another level. He had it tough in the boys' Under-11 final and needed nearly four hours to overcome his opponent. I am happy he had good stamina despite playing the Under-10 final earlier," said Abdul Hazli.thestar.com.my
While Imran is now a Junior Champion, his father said that being a Junior Champion does not guarantee you success in Senior level tennis, adding that he "has to work harder from now on"
The 10-year-old tennis tyke has become somewhat of a local media celebrity since he burst into the international tennis scene, even appearing on local radio station, Suria.fm for an interview last year