Tennis: Shaheed Alam fulfills Tennis Dream at Singapore Open ATP 250 Qualifiers

Singapore's top seed male tennis athlete grateful for the opportunity to play against World Class opponents

PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG


2020 was a rough year for Shaheed Alam in more ways than one.


While the world grappled with a pandemic, he also dealt with the loss of his father, who played a major role in his life on his journey towards starting tennis - the sport he loves.


So you can imagine how much it meant to him when he became one of the first two Singaporeans in history to play in the ATP 250 qualifiers thanks to Singapore Tennis Association and Sport Singapore.


In an article which he wrote for Sport Singapore, Shaheed was effusive in his praise for the organisers of the Singapore Tennis Open event.


He said: "No expense was spared on impeccable measures taken to ensure, that there weren't any compromises on the health and safety of players, officials and the community. For instance, all players, together with their entourage, had to fulfil a daily swab test."


"Personally, I found it impressive that the gym was divided into individual gym-like pods for players to use, which was maintained by a high level of hygiene and sanitisation after each use. This minimised any contact with other players and their teams."


With COVID-19, an integral fragment of such tournaments was missing – the human interaction.


Shaheed added that he missed having the opportunity to interact with the players – an element that everyone took for granted before the Coronavirus pandemic.


Players instead head to stand a metre apart and bump elbows behind masks. The other significant element that was missing was the crowd factor.


Having competed at the 2019 Davis Cup in front of a partizan home crowd – this was noticeably missing from his tournament experience, and he hopes that sooner rather than later, fans would be allowed back to spectate sports events.


Watch the full 8-minute interview with Shaheed here. Also available on 1 Play Sports' socials.


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