Monday September 24, 2012
Assri looking forward to playing in doubles with Agil
KUALA LUMPUR: After an eye opening experience competing in the singles qualifying of the Malaysian Open ATP 250 championship, promising teenager Mohd Assri Merzuki is now looking forward to the doubles which begins tomorrow.
The 17-year-old Assri became only the second Malaysian after veteran Si Yew Ming to win a set in the tournament’s history when he took on Philippines’ Treat Conrad Huey on Saturday.
But his inexperience showed as he eventually lost 2-6, 7-5, 2-6.
Assri, who has trained at the Tennis Players Fitness Institute in Florida under Romanian coach Doru Murariu for the past two years, believes he is better in the doubles.
In fact, the stocky Sarawakian has already made heads turn in the ITF Junior circuits by emerging a winneer in Brunei and Trinidad & Tobago, with his Canadian partner William Tutecky.
Assri also won an ITF Futures event – the Indian Harbour Beach tournament – last June together with Romanian Gabriel Moraru. They beat Antoinne Benneteau-Artem Ilyushin in the final.
However, he will have a bigger challenge, when he partners fellow youngster Syed Agil Naguib for the main draw of the doubles in KL.
They face top seeds and former champions Mariusz Fyrstenberg-Marcin Matkowski of Poland in the first round.
“I’m definitely more comfortable with doubles although I’ve been playing more singles lately,” said Assri.
“It’s definitely tough getting the top seeds in the first round.
“We will give our best. I have been partnering Syed Agil for several years and we should not have any problems playing together.. “Most importantly, this is a good opportunity for us to gain some experience and since we’re the underdogs, we’ll just go out and enjoy our tennis,” added Assri.