Singapore beat Malaysia, reach final

Singapore's national women's tennis team are through to tomorrow's Fed Cup Group II Asia/Oceania final in Hua Hin, Thailand, after beating Malaysia 2-1 for their fourth straight Pool B win yesterday.

They can even afford to lose to bottom-place Kyrgyzstan today.

It was a reversal of fortunes for the team, as their Fed Cup outing last year saw them lose 0-3 to both the Philippines and Pacific Oceania.

Their rapid improvement in results for this year's edition can be attributed to a good blend of youth and experience among the four representatives - Stefanie Tan, Goh Yee Loon, Ashley Yim and Charmaine Seah.

Tan, 23, played in her first Fed Cup in 2007, but the others are making their debuts in this competition. Yee Loon and Charmaine are only 16, while Ashley is the youngest, aged just 15.

Despite their overall youthfulness, they have managed to come out on top in Pool B against the likes of Malaysia, Pakistan and even the tournament second seeds Indonesia - all by a 2-1 scoreline.

Tan credits their consistent performances down to her team-mates' high energy, and also her experience of playing in the United States in the past four years when she was on a tennis scholarship.

"With my playing experience, I was able to teach the 15- and 16-year-old girls and help them out," she said.

"The girls are quite hungry and aren't afraid to back down from the other teams, especially when we faced second seed Indonesia where we came out on top."

Singapore will most likely to face top-seeded Phillipines in the final. The Philippines lead Pool A, which also consists of Pacific Oceania, Hong Kong, Iran and Bahrain.

Yogaraj Panditurai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore beat Malaysia, reach final'. Print Edition | Subscribe