KUALA LUMPUR: Former national player Ashaari Zainal showed that he was still a force in Malaysian tennis when he won the second leg of the National Circuit with minimal fuss on Sunday.
The 29-year-old had no difficulty overcoming second seed Syed Agil Syed Naguib 6-4, 6-3 in the final at National Tennis Centre in Jalan Duta.
Ashaari, who defeated top seed Christian Oliver Lee 6-4, 6-1 in the semi-finals, said he was not expecting to go all the way to the title.
"The final was harder than the scores suggest. Agil is a tough competitor and my plan was just to hang in there with him," said Ashaari.
"To be honest, I did not expect to win this but obviously I am very happy, this is my fourth (career) win on the national circuit."
Ashaari, who became the first Malaysian to beat a foreign player at the ATP Malaysian Open in 2013, is now a coach and he hardly plays competitively.
The women's final was an all-Indonesian affair which saw Oxi Gravitasi Putri defeating Happiness Beauty Heart Sumiarsa 6-2, 6-3 for the title.
Foreign players are allowed to play in the national circuit except for the season-ending masters tournament.