By Adri Faris (18A13A) and Chung Sohyun (18A13A)
Photos courtesy of Raffles Tennis
As the sun blazed bright on the morning of 4th May, our Raffles Tennis Team played their hearts out at the Kallang Tennis Centre for the annual National A Division Tennis Championships.
After hours of gruelling, intense matches, our A Division girls’ team emerged as champions once more – for the 8th year running – defeating their rival Hwa Chong Institution (HCI). Our A Division boys’ team also put up a remarkable performance, bringing home the equally priceless 1st runners-up trophy against Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).
Despite battling against the formidable opponent HCI, the girls’ team put up an excellent performance overall. The singles match was a clean victory for Meg Ang Shi Yi (18S03K) with a score of 6-0, 6-0. Although Shirina Mulani (18A03A) lost the second singles match 0-6, 1-6, her grit and determination were incredibly commendable. Both our doubles teams claimed victory, with Kirsten Chow (18S07B) and Sophie Lim (18S07B) winning 6-3, 6-2, followed by an impressive 6-1, 6-1 by Laura Ann Chan (18A13A) and Tamara Tan (18S03E). With Ng Qin Yi (17S07C) ending the final singles match with a hard-fought 6-3, 7-5 score, the girls’ team triumphantly retained their honourable championship glory.
The boys’ team also displayed equal strength and fervour against strong competition from their ACS(I) counterparts. In the singles matches, Clarence Lee (18S03S) played well with a score of 1-6, 2-6; Brendan Yim (17S06Q) with a score of 1-6, 1-6; and Marcus Teoh (17S03E) dominated his sets 6-2, 6-2. In the doubles match, Aveek Goswami (18S06E) and Park Jung Woo (18S03I) showcased their excellent teamwork, securing a win with a score of 6-4, 6-1.
With the neck and neck competition between Raffles and ACS(I), the final doubles match played by Ashton Tan (17S06J) and Wesley Wong (17S07C) became the deciding match for the championship. The Rafflesian and ACS(I) families eagerly gathered at the courts, anxious to witness the outcome of this decisive match. Even though there was considerably less number of supporters from Team Raffles, our supporters still did a commendable job on heightening the atmosphere to boost our players’ morale.
In the nerve-wracking first set, both Ashton and Wesley lost by a close margin of 5-7. Despite the immense pressure, both of them gave their all in the second set, winning with a strong 6-4. Throughout the match, Ashton and Wesley constantly displayed remarkable teamwork, and were notable for never losing their smiles even as they recognised the high stakes involved in every move they made.
As our school flags flew high and the supporters roared on, the third set kicked off in a tense atmosphere. Every time a serve or a hit was missed, collective sighs of pity could be heard among the Raffles supporters. As the match drew on, the score gap widened increasingly in favour of the ACS(I) players.
Nonetheless, supporters disregarded the perspiration from the stifling heat and anxiety, continuing to cheer the players on with their constant “Don’t give up!” and “Go Raffles!”; Ashton and Wesley, fired up by these words of encouragement, kept their cool and fought their hardest to the very last point. This was undoubtedly the most heartening scene of the day.
The final set ended with a score of 0-6, but it was indeed a battle well-fought. As Yeo Shi Wen (18A13A) comments, “Their intense focus during the game, persistence in spite of setbacks, and incredible shows of sportsmanship were very admirable!”
The players from both sides shook hands, and players and supporters alike shouted “Three Cheers” for each other, a heart-warming show of sportsmanship amidst the intense competition. The graceful approach taken by our players to the outcome of the final match served as a great reminder to all that medals and trophies are not as important as the valuable experiences gained on the court.
As the morning of matches came to an end, each school put on their final display of school pride by singing their school songs with great pride, starting off with Raffles’ Institution Anthem and followed by the ACS(I) Anthem.
When asked to summarise their entire journey from the start of the year to the end of their finals, girls’ Captain, Qinyi, beautifully sums the whole experience up, “It wasn’t an easy ride but we made it as a family.” Indeed, to the spectators, the hours of practice that every player had put in was evident in every match they played – their achievements were certainly hard-earned.
Raffles Press would like to congratulate our tennis team once again on their remarkable performance, and wish them all the best for next year’s season!