SEA Games 2017

Tan secures S'pore's first tennis medal since '95

World No. 540 Stefanie Tan will play Thai top seed Luksika Kumkhum in the semi-finals today, knowing that she will be assured of at least a bronze.
World No. 540 Stefanie Tan will play Thai top seed Luksika Kumkhum in the semi-finals today, knowing that she will be assured of at least a bronze.

Singapore are assured of a SEA Games tennis medal for the first time in 22 years, after Stefanie Tan trounced Vietnam's Tran Thuy Thanh Truc 6-0, 6-0 in the women's singles quarter-finals yesterday.

The 24-year-old will face top seed Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in the semi-finals at Kuala Lumpur's National Tennis Centre today.

The other semi-final will be between Filipino Anna Clarice Patrimonio and Cambodia's Andrea Ka.

As there is no play-off for third and fourth placing, today's losing semi-finalists will both earn bronze medals.

Singapore's last SEA Games tennis medal came in 1995 in Chiang Mai, when the men's team won bronze. The Republic's last individual medallist in the sport is Lim Phi Lan, who clinched the women's singles silver at the 1983 edition in Singapore.

Tan turned professional last year and has been competing regularly, but admitted she still felt "a little bit of nerves" entering yesterday's match.

"It's quite a big deal to get a medal for tennis as we haven't done so in a long time, so I really wanted to do it and I felt a bit of pressure but I managed to calm down," she said.

"In general, it was just about playing each point and not thinking about the occasion."

Tan, who closed out her match with a service winner, is ranked No. 540 on the Women's Tennis Association circuit.

She is expecting a "tough match" against world No. 180 Luksika, who beat her during the team event two years ago.

Tan added: "On paper, she should be going on to win the whole SEA Games, so I'm going in with the mentality of an underdog.

"I'm going to put everything I have out there against her, and hopefully that's enough."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2017, with the headline 'Tan secures S'pore's first tennis medal since '95'. Print Edition | Subscribe