The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia sent four of its players to train in Barcelona, hoping this will elevate the standards of the youngsters - amidst criticism by certain parties.
I was privileged to see the boys - Ariez Elyas Deen Heshaam, Assri Merzuki, Nazim Khan and Syed Agil Syed Naguib - train at the Tenis L'hospitalet Complex in the cool summer breeze in May.
It was also the same time Atletico Madrid lost to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey and Barcelona revealed its latest signing David Villa at Nou Camp. I managed to speak to Marcel Granollers (pic)- this in addition to my exclusive interviews with Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet three years ago.
Recently, Singapore-based Redsports revealed that the Singapore Tennis Association are working with with their Spanish counterparts to train the Singaporean tennis team. More can be read here. I heard Indonesia will station their players there as well.
So it looks like the decision to send our boys to train in Spain was not so bad after all. Hopefully the boys will be able to chalk impressive results and silence their critics.
HD says: Rafael Nadal won the Wimbledon in 2008 and Spain won the Euro. Just a week ago, Nadal pulled a similar feat by bagging the Wimbledon and this could be an omen that Spain could win the World Cup this weekend. Viva Espanyol! (I'm still very much a Germany fan).