Story by Tessa Cho/Red Sports
Nanyang Technological University, Tuesday, September 3, 2013 — The National University of Singapore (NUS) girls’ team were overall tennis champions in the 2012 Singapore University Games (SUniG) when they claimed the title in all three categories – team, singles and doubles.
This year, their goal remains the same. “We still have quite a strong team despite having to change a lot of doubles pairings,” said Clare Anne Fong, the captain of the NUS girls’ tennis team.
Most of the team is made up of very experienced players which come from various junior colleges, although a handful are from Raffles Institution and know each other beforehand. Regarding their toughest opponent, Clare commented: “We expect a close fight with SMU but we are still pretty confident of winning.”
For Singapore Management University (SMU), they finished second in the girls’ individual singles and third in the team category last year. However, their sights are set on the championship title this year and they are “fairly confident” of bringing it home.
Captain of the SMU girls’ tennis team, Grace Pang, said: “We trained really hard this year and the girls have also been more committed. With a training trip overseas this year, the girls have improved a lot and are also more bonded, which is very important in terms of support. These will allow us to stand a better chance in the tournament this year.”
This year’s SMU squad generally comprises the same as last year’s for the girls, while boasting of additional new and experienced team members for the guys. SMU is also coming up strong with all of their girls still in the run for the championship title so far.
Having finished second in both the team and girls’ doubles categories, the NTU girls team looks towards maintaining their position. “With a change in coach, our girls have improved a lot and there is also better team performance,” says Isabella Khoo, the team captain. “It will be a tough fight as we will be facing very strong opponents with a pretty fresh team, with many of our girls playing SUniG for their first time too.”
Another competitor vying for the top three is the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM). Deborah Ong, the vice-president of the tennis club, said the team has given their all and put in a lot of effort during their training camp recently. “As compared to previous years, the girls have really upped their game as well and there has been more team bonding, which would really help in their SUniG performance,” she said.
SUniG this year saw the addition of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).
Unlike their veteran competitors, this is SIT’s first girls’ representation in SUniG. Despite losing, both Doreen Chong and Jan Lim were satisfied with their play as they felt that they had an improvement from their training performance. Having only formally began coach training in late July, the girls’ goals focused more on their individual match performance and gaining of match experience rather than the final outcome, explained Benedict Loh, president of the SIT tennis club.
More plans have, however, been put in place to formalize recruitment and expand the team size. This includes the setting up of beginner programmes for those who are new to the sport after SUniG.
Similar to SIT, SUTD is also relatively new to SUniG. With a decent sized team of about 15 people, with the majority of whom are new to the sport, only one SUTD player participated in the individual category for match experience.
Girls Singles – Round of 16
Clare Anne Fong (NUS) beat Tan Xiao Ting (NTU)
Chan Jia Qi (NUS) beat Hong Yan Qing (NTU)
Claire Cheng (SIM) beat Srushti Yadhunath (NTU)
Chua Li-En (SMU) beat Shreya Kukar (SIM)
Tanisha Garg (NTU) beat Tan Xiao Lei (SUTD)
Crystal Soh (SMU) beat Amanda Koh (NUS)
Diane Low (SMU) beat Tan Siew Ying (SIM)
Anne Tan (SMU) beat Audrey Li (NUS)
Girls Doubles – Quarter-Finals
Eunice Chew/Tessa Ong (NUS) beat Jan Lim/Doreen Chong (SIT)
Grace Pang/Sara Tang (SMU) beat Sarah Tan/Bernita Woo (SIM)
Cheryl Fang/Leong Jia Li (NUS) beat Deborah Ong/Sherilyn Tang (SIM)
Nicole Goh/Hoe Ying Mei (SMU) beat Angela Shen/Isabella Khoo (NTU)