Amidst efforts from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to orchestrate a massive shake-up of the Davis Cup competition which will see the formation of an 18-nation World Cup of Tennis, Team Singapore’s Davis Cup 2018 campaign has already gotten off to a fantastic start with qualifier group pool matches that started on Jan 29 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman.
Shaheed Alam, TeamSG tennis player managed by ONEathlete, is 19 years old and the youngest member of the TeamSG tennis contingent at Davis Cup 2018. He is joined by former top-ranked Singaporean tennis player 36-year old Jensen Hiu, as well as Roy Hobbs and Steve Ng. (trivia: Shaheed was born a year after Hiu made the first of his six Davis Cup appearances!)
In the final Group 3 promotion match against UAE, Hobbs defeated Abdulrahman Al Janahi 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 in the first singles match before UAE levelled the score with Fahad Janahi grinding out a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 win over Shaheed Alam in a match that lasted 2hr 39 min. In the deciding doubles match, Jensen Hiu, making his return to competitive tennis 13 years after retirement, joined hands with Roy Hobbs to beat Fahad Janahi and Fares Al Janahi 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in the decider to secure Team Singapore’s promotion to Group 3.
Singapore was last promoted to Group 3 in 2015 before suffering relegation a year later. In 2017, the men’s team stopped short of qualifying for promotion to Group 3 after losing the deciding doubles match in a play-off against Saudi Arabia.
Shaheed, who was also recently awarded the Sports Achiever Award in recognition of his achievement from his alma mater, Singapore Sports School, was also very happy and pleased with his own effort and the progress the team has made in overcoming 2017’s setback, to achieve an all-time best world ranking of 90!
Shaheed has returned to Singapore and is currently working hard towards his next competition at the ITF Futures Singapore later in May, where he hopes to build on his earlier result as the first Singaporean male to win an ITF junior singles title and break into the ITF pro circuit!