Singapore sports star spotlight: Shaheed Alam serves up a storm on tennis court

PHOTO: Instagram/shaheedalam_

When it comes to tennis, Shaheed Alam is pretty hard to beat.

The current Singapore Tennis Association 2022 Singles and Doubles champ has represented our colours at the Davis Cup (the world cup of tennis) and SEA Games multiple times.

Our number one men's tennis player, who turns 24 in July, also won hearts off the court when he founded Project Love-All, which aimed to provide meals to migrant workers during the weekend of Hari Raya.

He was also part of Wheels Up! Serving Against Covid-19 together with former national cyclist turned tennis coach Nasrom Abdullah and the Malay Sports Association, raising about $3,700 for tennis coaches and their families.

Character bio: Shaheed's dad introduced him to the sport back when he was only five years old, at the badminton court below his HDB (where they still live). He became part of the national TeamSG setup at the age of 16 in 2014. His favourite tennis player: Roger Federer.

Fun fact: In an interview with SG Sports TV, he admitted that he sleeps on bolsters, not pillows. (Whaaat?) He also mentioned he is quite superstitious: “Usually, if I win the first set, I won’t go to the toilet and change clothes. But if I lose, then I will change.”

Achievement unlocked: Shaheed was the first Singaporean Male ITF Junior Singles title winner at the age of 17. He has competed in six Davis Cup tournaments and three SEA Games campaigns. He is the top-ranked SG player on the ATP Tour.

He also teamed up with Maria Sharapova at an exhibition doubles match, and sparred against US Open champ Emma Raducanu (above) during the latter’s stopover in Singapore.

Serving the nation: Shaheed is currently serving NS with the SPF, and will ORD in Aug this year. When he received a wildcard entry into the US$300,000 (S$414 000) Singapore Open ATP 250, he thought he would not get the chance to play. But after informing his supervisors, they backed him up.

Speaking in an interview with 1 Play Sports, the national tennis player said: “They’ve allowed me to train; they have been super supportive of me participating in this tournament. As soon as I got the call, I let my supervisors know and they allowed me to leave slightly earlier to be able to go train.”

Level up: He marked his debut at an ATP Pro Men's Tour event on Feb 20, 2021, playing in the Singapore Open ATP 250. That was the first step, Shaheed hopes, to play professionally on the ATP Tour.

“Representing Singapore has and will always be a huge honour and privilege for me," says Shaheed. "I hope I can still continue to do that for many more years to come.”

Next stop: This year’s Davis Cup. We’re rooting for you, bro!

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This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.