By Fadhli Ishak
KUALA LUMPUR: National players will have to find their ranking points elsewhere as the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) have confirmed that there will be no ITF Futures events hosted in Malaysia this year.
LTAM secretary Rahizam Rahim said an initial change in format which saw the US$15,000 (RM62,000) Futures no longer offering ATP points from this year, prompted the national body to drop the tournaments.
Malaysia hosted three back-to-back US$15,000 ITF Futures events at the National Tennis Centre in July last year.
“Actually, for this year, ITF came up with a new policy with the ATP where (US$15,000) Futures tournaments would no longer offer ranking points as in previous years,” said Rahizam.
“So it would not have benefited our players if we had gone ahead and organised the tournaments.
“However, ITF and ATF have reverted to their original policy following protest from players.
“This happened a few weeks ago. However, by then it was already too late for us to organise the Futures here this year.”
Rahizam, however, assured that the Futures will return to Malaysia next year.
Understandably, the absence of Futures events in Malaysia this year has irked a number of tennis parents.
“It’s bad enough that we do not have any more ATP or WTA events here but now even the Futures events are not being held,” said a parent.
“It is important for our players to have these Futures events here to help them develop.”