Stefanie Tan's focus on improving game after 2nd tennis singles title

Singapore's top tennis player Stefanie Tan won her second title in Jakarta.
Singapore's top tennis player Stefanie Tan won her second title in Jakarta. PHOTO: STEFANIE TAN

It was the first time Stefanie Tan was the top seed at a tournament in her playing career. And she lived up to that billing as favourite as she won the International Tennis Federation (ITF) US$10,000 (S$13,900) event in Jakarta yesterday.

The 24-year-old, who is training full time, did not drop a set en route to the victory.

Singapore's top tennis player defeated Indonesian Jessy Rompies 6-4, 6-4 in the final to clinch her second singles crown this year, following her maiden triumph in another US$10,000 event in Azerbaijan in June. An ITF US$10,000 event is the lowest tier in the women's tennis circuit.

Tan said: "Being the highest-ranked player, I tried not to put too much pressure and expectations on myself and tried not to get too carried away by that.

"On paper, I'm the favourite but there are players who are not ranked high but they are good.

"It was also a challenge to deal with playing against Indonesian players in the last three matches as they've got the home crowd supporting them."

With the win, the world No. 549, who started the year unranked, is expected to break into the top 500 of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings for the first time when the new standings are updated tomorrow.

 

She said: "I've exceeded my target with two months to go. But from now on, it's going to be harder to climb because more points are needed to make a big jump."

Even though she has set a new target of finishing the year inside the top 400, Tan's focus is not on collecting ranking points.

Instead, she is more concerned about improving her game.

Tan noted: "My serve has improved a lot and I've been holding serve with more ease than before. I'm moving better and feeling quite confident with my game.

"I'm also clearer with what exactly I'm trying to do during the points, dictating the points and playing with more purpose rather than just reacting to what my opponent is doing.

"I'm playing the big points better and I'm mentally tougher."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 16, 2016, with the headline 'Tan's focus on improving game after 2nd title'. Print Edition | Subscribe