Brunei's dream tennis partnership of Mohd Aiman Abdullah and Pg Aki Ismasufian Pg Hj Ibrahim will be taking their talents to Kuala Lumpur
The current and former Brunei No 1s are set to compete in the doubles event of the Kuala Lumpur International Open from April 30 - May 4, and it will be a first for Aiman in partnering a compatriot in the event in an overseas competition. The pair are coming off winning the Brunei Darussalam Tennis Association (BDTA) Open Men's Doubles 1st Leg 2014 title after overcoming Billy Wong and Nurul Mohd Andi Hambali 6-3, 6-2 in the final late last month.
Pg Aki is looking to help Aiman out and wants to keep the momentum going at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall Complex, Titiwangsa Lake Garden. "Things are still hot right now (and) after winning last month I'm convinced to play again," said Pg Aki in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"I feel motivated and thought that I might as well give it a try. "I used to do a lot of competitive play back in the day and left the scene for a while now (and) I want to relive that feeling once again.
"Another motive for making the trip is to support Aiman as well. I believe that he is on par with the competitors from other countries. He has got a lot of exposure but I believe that he can improve his game further. "We are going there with no expectations. We're excited to play together but the main thing is to enjoy the game and play to our best," continued Pg Aki when met at the National Tennis Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
Aiman, meanwhile, is in high spirits and will also compete in the singles event. The 21-year-old last competed at the BMW Malaysian National Circuit 2014 in Kuala Lumpur from April 5-9, where he reached the Tier 2 final.
He lost his opener 7-5, 6-4 to Sri Aakash, one of Malaysia's top junior players, in the Tier 1 competition. The national tennis player was dropped to Tier 2 where he won five matches before losing to Alvin Teng via walkover in the final so as not to miss his flight home.
The Sultanate's most active touring player is hoping to put up another string of good performances. "I've no expectations just like my last tournament. I feel that the minimum is to play the same but I definitely want to go better," said Aiman.
"I believe that my game has improved as I worked harder in preparations for this competition. "I also have to thank my partner for working out with me as I've been putting in a lot of hitting. I've also been working on my physical side. The level of competition will be a lot tougher than the last one since the prize money is big," he concluded.
Organised by the Kuala Lumpur Lawn Tennis Association (KLLTA), the five-day event offers the largest purse in Malaysia local tennis history. A total of RM62,000 will be paid out to the top finishers in the men's and women's singles and doubles as well as the men's masters and veterans.