One of the great benefits about having a prestigious world-class ATP World Tour tenis tournament in Malaysia is that it gives our local lads a chance to pit their skills against some of the world's best.
Every year, the Malaysia Open KL as part of its junior development initiatives, which also include a pro tennis clinic for our aspiring youngsters, offers valuable wild card entries to Malaysian players and this year will be no exception with two singles qualiying slots and one doubles main draw spot being handed out.
Youngsters Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam and Ahmed Deedat Abdul Razak will lead the country's charge in the singles qualifying tournament on Sept 24-25. This means the boys will need to record at least 2 wins (subject to the draw size) against the pros if they are to make it to the singles main draw of 28 players.
Ariez has played in the Malaysia Open last year, having lost to Laurent Recourderc in the first round qualifying match.
Ahmed, meanwhile, was a surprise inclusion.
"I'm speechless and a little nervous. But this is a golden opportunity for me and I will give my best," said the KL-born Ahmed.
Meanwhile, Malaysian number 1 Si Yew Ming will partner an exciting fast rising ATP World Tour star who has entered the singles draw, with the duo entered as a wild card into the main draw of the doubles event.