Mohd Aiman Abdullah (pic) is venturing into new territory and starting from the ground up.
Brunei's tennis ace is set to make his debut at the second leg of the BMW Malaysian National Circuit 2014 in Kuala Lumpur from April 5-9.
He plied his trade mostly in Singapore and Indonesia over the past years under then national coach Fan Po Hoa and even broke into the top-10 in the Lion City after being seeded ninth last year.
The 21-year-old has not set any targets this time round and is keeping an eye out on what is offered in the Malaysian capital.
"I'm going there with zero expectations. I've been busy with coaching and putting in as much time as possible for training," said Aiman in an interview with The Brunei Times when met yesterday.
"I'm going there early to get myself warmed up. I've got some contacts there so I can have some sparring too.
"I'm still looking forward to a good outing. I want to see who are the regulars in this region as I'm targeting to play there more this year.
"This is because Malaysia is a cheaper destination and the sport is of a higher level. I'm surprised to see the list of participants as there are some really strong players from the region which include 2011 SEA Games gold medallists Christopher Rungkat (singles, doubles and team events) and Elbert Sie (doubles and team events) of Indonesia," he said.
"Prize money is also more attractive as it starts from winning the first round while it is only in the quarter-finals in Singapore.
"Malaysia have a full field since some are taking this as a warmup for SUKMA (Malaysia Games) in July," continued the national tennis player, who captured the Brunei Darussalam Tennis Association (BDTA) Open Men's Doubles 1st Leg 2014 on Sunday together with former Brunei No 1 Pg Aki Ismasufian Pg Hj Ibrahim.
Aiman recently received a boost in his career after achieving the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) Level 1 Coaching Certificate last month.
He passed all the tests - three practical (demo test, individual teaching and group teaching) and one written - to obtain the cert.
"What I learned at the course is more or less what coach Fan taught me over the years. He has passed down a lot of knowledge to me," said Aiman.
"It is more like a refresher course but this time I got myself certified," he added.
Aiman has been providing private lessons to make ends meet and to fund his competitions outside of the country.
He already has some coaching experience under his belt by lending a hand to the national junior scheme for under-12 on Fridays at the National Tennis Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
Asked if he is thinking of taking up the post of national coach, he replied: "I'm not aiming at the responsibility yet since I'm only 21. I still want to play in tournaments.
"I still want to have the chance to compete at the SEA Games as well," he concluded.