(L-R) Brunei Darussalam Tennis Association (BDTA) president Pg Kamaruddin Pg Hj Radin, Mohd Aiman Abdullah, Pg Aki Ismasufian Pg Hj Ibrahim and BDTA tournament director Abd Rasheed Abdullah pose for a photo after the final of the 2nd leg of the BDTA Open Men's Singles at the National Tennis Centre yesterday. BT/Syarif Rasani
Brunei No 1 Mohd Aiman Abdullah was crowned the champion of the 2nd leg of the Brunei Darussalam Tennis Association (BDTA) Open Men's Singles after former No 1 Pg Aki Ismasufian Pg Hj Ibrahim retired because of an injured right arm.
With Pg Aki showing discomfort in his service, it was clear from the start that Aiman - who won the first set 6-0 - would have the upper hand. Pg Aki's game continued to further deteriorate and affect his returns at the National Tennis Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
Aiman didn't waste his energy. He was moving through each game with ease before Pg Aki called it quits after losing the sixth set. Pg Aki admitted that he didn't feel like carrying on after picking up his injury.
"I think in the beginning of the third game, I think I snapped it (muscle)," said Pg Aki. "I think it was since last night's game (Saturday's 6-2, 6-2 semi-final win over Bakurutheenn Ali), or even before that really. "Age is catching up," Pg Aki jokingly added.
Aiman, who booked his place in the final after cruising past top seed Nurul Mohd Andi Hambali 6-3, 6-0, believes that Pg Aki picked up his injury due to a hectic playing schedule since March. They teamed up together for the first time during BDTA's Open Men's Doubles 1st Leg in March, which they won after beating Billy Wong and Andi 6-3, 6-2 in the final.
"Since we came back from the doubles open in the April 30 - May 4 Kuala Lumpur International Open, he has been practising a lot with me and with this I think he reached his maximum,"Aiman told The Brunei Times. "I can't say I played well because I didn't really play. It's actually his physical conditioning, we haven't put that part in to training yet. If not it would have been a good match.
"When he comes back he will be stronger," added Aiman. Aiman booked his place in the final after cruising 6-3, 6-0 past top seed Nurul Mohd Andi Hambali. BDTA president Pg Kamaruddin Pg Hj Radin was present at the court to hand out the trophies. Also present was BDTA tournament director Abd Rasheed Abdullah.