The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) president Mirzan Mahathir presents a souvenir to the National Tennis Development Programme (First Serve) chairman Mohammad Khusaini Hassan (right). Pic by MUHAIMIN MARWAN

KUALA LUMPUR: The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) are open to the privatisation of the National Tennis Centre (NTC) in Jalan Duta if the company given the job is capable of managing it well.

LTAM president Mirzan Mahathir disclosed that there are three companies interested in taking over NTC, however, the Malaysia Stadium Corporation (PSM) have yet to make a decision on who will get the nod.

"We are open to the idea and do not mind which company is selected as long as they can manage and take care of the national assets here well," said Mirzan at the launch of the National Tennis Development Programme (First Serve) at NTC today.

"LTAM hopes that the company will be committed in maintaining all the courts."

On a separate note, Mirzan added that the national body are looking to improve on their coaching and grassroots development programmes in an effort to produce quality players.

He highlighted the fact that Malaysia only have one junior player who is doing well at the moment in Christian Didier Chin.

"Christian progressing well and is currently ranked 44th in the world junior rankings. The rest (juniors), however, are lagging quite far behind.

"I hope the others will be able to follow his example and emulate his determination and commitment."

In an effort to popularise the sport among youngsters, LTAM will be expanding the First Serve programme to up to 14 schools across the country this year.

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