THE name of the tournament sounds grand but many did not show up.
The SportExcel Masters Tennis Championships was supposed to have featured the top 16-ranked play ers from each age-group for quality tennis at the National Tennis Centre in Kuala Lumpur last weekend but it never happened.
Instead, the event was snubbed by many elite junior players in the country.
Only the boys' Under-16 managed to attract the top-16 ranked players but the other categories did not meet the required quota.
The girls' Under-12 and Under-16 categories each attracted only five players while there were too few entries to organise the boys' and girls' Under-18 events.
Only a few national junior players turned up for the tournament. Among those who played were Syed Aqil Syed Naguib, S.Theiviya and Alyssa Boey.
It is disappointing that most of the country's elite did not turn up.
The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) must take pro-active measures to ensure this tournament does not rot.
According to some parents, many players stayed away because it offered no ranking points.
"It does not offer anything except a medal and a certificate.
Why should our children waste their time playing in this tournament?" said a disappointed parent yesterday.
Another parent said the tournament's timing did not suit some players as they were either busy with upcoming exams or playing in Asian-level events.
LTAM executive secretary Ibrahim Abu Bakar said many players withdrew after confirming their entries a day before the Masters event.
"We had no choice but to continue with the available players. However, we need to brainstorm to make this event better next time," said Ibrahim. - NST.