Story by Rebecca Yip/Red Sports. Photos by Clara Yuan/Red Sports and Jerald Ang/Red Sports.
Singapore Indoor Stadium, Saturday, June 13, 2015 — Both of Singapore’s women’s doubles pairs failed to make it to the quarter-finals after straight set losses to Indonesia and Malaysia.
The newly-minted women’s doubles pair of Vanessa Neo and Shinta Mulia Sari lost 11-21, 15-21 to Indonesian duo Anggia Shitta Awanda and Ketut Ni Mahadewi. On the next court, Games debutants Tan Wei Han and Elaine Chua fought valiantly against their more-experienced Malaysian counterparts, Amelia Alicia Anscelly and Soong Fie Cho, but lost 20-22, 14-21.
Vanessa and Shinta got off to a rocky start against the Indonesians. Communication issues between the pair and several unforced errors caused them to go down 11-21 to the Indonesians in the first set.
They looked set to stage a comeback in the second set when they evenly matched their opponents to draw 10-10. However, after the break in the second set, Vanessa and Shinta lost focus and gave the match and the game away to the Indonesians.
Said Vanessa on the pair’s failure to sustain a good run in the second set, “In the second set, when we figured out how they played, it was too late in the game already. If we realised it earlier in the match, it could have been better.”
Singapore’s less experienced women’s doubles team, Tan Wei Han and Elaine Chua, almost pulled off an upset against the Malaysian pair, who are ranked 24th in the world. Wei Han and Elaine, ranked 213th, used their swift footwork and impeccable teamwork to lead 14-5 at one point of the first set. However, the Malaysians refused to be shaken by the underdogs and clawed their way back to eventually take the first set 22-20 in a closely-fought finish.
In the second set, the Malaysians continued their strong run from the first set to work their Singapore opponents around the court. Many rallies saw Wei Han and Elaine scrambling to return some of the shots that the Malaysians were pounding at them. One rally ended with both Wei Han and Elaine sprawled on the ground in their attempt to gain a point.
Wei Han and Elaine proved to be no match for the Malaysians, who took the second set 21-14 and sealed their victory.
There was no doubt in the minds of everyone watching Wei Han and Elaine’s performance that the girls gave their absolute best. Speaking after the match, Wei Han and Elaine both also felt that they personally gave all that they could.
Wei Han said, “Our opponents are much more experienced than us and I think I can say that I tried my very best.”
Elaine echoed Wei Han’s sentiments and said, “Before my match, I told myself to give 120 percent and just give my very best, and put on a good show for everybody to see.”
Despite the defeat, the pair felt encouraged by the support shown to them by the home crowd. “I think the home crowd was very sporting and they cheered for us when we dived all over the court, so I thank them for their support,” said Wei Han.
Wei Han will partner Terry Hee in the mixed doubles against Thailand’s Sutket Prapakamol and Sapsiree Taerattanachai on Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 2pm.
Women’s Doubles (Round of 16) Results
Shinta Mulia Sari/Vanessa Neo (SIN) 0 Anggia Shitta Awanda/Ketut Ni Mahadewi (INA) 2
Tan Wei Han/Elaine Chua (SIN) 0 Amelia Alicia Anscelly/Soong Fie Cho (MAS) 2
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