Bangladesh came from behind to take 1-0 lead in the ongoing two-match Bangladesh-Malaysia Friendship Tennis series beating Malaysian side by 2-1 games in the opening encounter at the National Tennis Complex in Dhaka on Thursday.
Top ranked Bangladesh player Amal Roy lost the very first game against Naufal Siddi Bin Kamaruzzaman by 3-6, 7-5, 0-6 sets.
However, Mamun Bepary made the things level for Bangladesh by beating Talhah Bin Mohamad Rahizam in straight 6-3, 6-3 sets.
Later, Bangladesh’s doubles pair Amal and Ranjan Ram beat Muhammad Aiman Bin Hamdan and Azrul Ekhsan Bin Azman pair by 6-2, 7-5 sets.
Mamun, who put some brilliant efforts to help the hosts bounce back in the contest, was not part of Bangladesh squad initially but he was later included in the team at the insistence of coach Mozahidul Haque.
‘I’m really happy to help my side comeback into the match,’ said Mamun.
‘We rarely get chance to play international tournament as we only take part in the Davis Cup at the senior level. I would like to thank the federation for organising such tournament for us.’
The second match of the friendship series will be held today at the Uttara Club.
ASM Haider, vice-president of the federation and tournament director, said they are initiating the tournament to raise interest about the game.
‘We invited 20 to 25 English medium schools principals and students to watch tomorrow’s tournament only to promote the game among the affluent segment of the society. Tennis is an expensive game, so we believe they can afford it.’
Malaysia team coach Muliyadi Jamal suggested that Bangladesh can follow their example.
‘In Malaysia, tennis federation go to every state as we have 13 states in Malaysia and we work with the ministry of education,’ Jamal said.
‘Usually we work with the primary schools for the players aged between eight and 13. We hope to find good players for the future there.’
Jamal said such tournament will help the both sides.
‘The level of the Bangladesh and Malaysia are quite similar. But we brought here our junior players, not senior players so that they can learn something from here,’ he said.
Ranked 91st in the world, Malaysia are in Zone III for Davis Cup Asia Oceania Zone. Bangladesh, who are 116 in world ranking, finished 10th among 12 teams, in Zone IV competition held in Oman from January 29 to February 3.
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