Bullish Amirul aims high

Amirul (left) will be aiming to win his first British Junior Open crown next week. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Amirul (left) will be aiming to win his first British Junior Open crown next week. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — Amir Amirul Azhar is one of several top junior squash players in Malaysia and come Jan 3 he will be attempting to win his first ever British Junior Open title.

Seeded second in the Under-15 category, Amirul’s biggest threat will come from top seed Sam Todd of England, fourth seed Neel Joshi of India and third seed Ahmad Wael of Egypt.

To prepare himself, Amirul has been competing in the older age groups in order to get tougher competition under his belt.

Amirul’s confidence is sky high after lifting the Under-15 Asian Junior title in Amman, Jordan in July. He beat India’s Neel Joshi 3-1 in the final.

“I’m feeling more confident with my game especially with some of the professional tournaments under my belt,” he said.

“I feel as though I’ve learnt some good techniques and have a wider array of shots in my arsenal.

“The seeding is good for me but I can’t be too comfortable as other players are pretty talented. I have to be on my A-game if I’m going to get that first title,” said the Kelantan-born player.

This will be his fourth appearance in the British Junior Open. He finished eighth in his maiden outing in the Under-13 category in 2015 and emerged runner-up last year.

“I’m not as overawed by the occasion. Like in previous years and with me playing the older age groups in the latter part of the season’s tournaments I feel like I am getting a bit stronger,” said Amirul.

“I’ll take it one game at a time and hope for the best.”

Amirul is joined in the Under-15 by C. Ameeshenraj and Andril Lim Kai Shan.

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