Malaysia’s challenge at Malaysian Open Tennis Championship fizzles out

Merzuki Mohd Assri (left) and Syed Naguib Syed Mohd Agil provide stiff competition but eventually lose to doubles Santiago Gonzalez and Philipp Petzschner in the 2015 Malaysia Open tennis tournament at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Sept 28, 2015. — Bernama
Merzuki Mohd Assri (left) and Syed Naguib Syed Mohd Agil provide stiff competition but eventually lose to doubles Santiago Gonzalez and Philipp Petzschner in the 2015 Malaysia Open tennis tournament at Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Sept 28, 2015. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — Malaysia’s challenge at the Malaysian Open Tennis Championship ended when Mohd Assri Merzuki and Syed Mohd Agil Syed Naguib lost in the men’s doubles first round match, today.

Wildcard’s Mohd Assri/Syed Mohd Agil gave a competitive match before going down to Mexican Santiago Gonzalez and Philipp Petzschner of Germany, 5-7 and 2-6 in a little more than an hour.

“We played well in the first set but luck was not on our side. We tried to comeback in the second set but failed,” said Syed Mohd Agil after the match at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here, today.

In last year’s edition of the MOKL, Syed Mohd Agil was given a wildcard entry to team up with the ‘half-kampung kid’, Nick Krygios of Australia but lost in the first round.

Gonzalez/Petzschner will meet men’s doubles second seeded, Treat Huey of Philippines and Henri Kontinen of Finland or Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner and Marcus Daniell of New Zealand in the quarterfinal round.

Meanwhile, world number 74, Germany’s Benjamin Becker edged Sam Groth of Australia, who is currently ranked 53 in the world, 6-1, 7-6(6).

“It was a tough game, I tried to neutralise his serve. I won in the first set but in the second set he served much better. I improved my service and waited for the chance to target some good points,” said Becker.

Men’s singles seventh seed Kyrgios smashed Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-1 and saw the Colombian retire in the second set when the score was 2-1.

“I am really happy to have won today, especially my first win in Kuala Lumpur even though a little bit of disappointment because I can’t finish the match. I wish him well because he still has a couple of competitions.

“Definitely I feel that I can win this tournament... it is my goal. I just want to keep up my good performance. This tournament is really important for next year, so I think I will do everything I can here,” said Kyrgios.

MOKL is the first ATP World Tour event for Kyrgios since being handed a suspension of 28 days and fine of US$25,000 for sledging Stan Wawrinka in Montreal, last month.

Tatsuma Ito of Japan will meet Finnish Jarrko Nieminen in the first round of the tournament main draw before meeting Kyrgios in the second round.

Four players — Yuichi Sugita of Japan, Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN), Michal Przysiezny (POL) and Mischa Zverev (German) advanced to the main draw. — Bernama

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