SINGAPORE - Youngsters Adithya Suresh and Sarah Anne Wong won themselves a trip to Paris to represent Singapore in the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament in June, after both emerged victorious in the Singapore qualifier on Tuesday (April 17) at the Savitar Tennis Centre in Fairmont Hotel.
Adithya, 12, beat Bill Chan 4-1, 4-1, while Sarah, also 12, defeated Audrey Tong 4-1, 4-0 in their respective finals, with the qualifier using a truncated scoring format.
This year is the first time Singapore will have multiple representatives at the annual event, with countries given two spots to commemorate the event's 10th edition.
The pair will be among 40 players from 20 countries going to the French capital for the May 31-June 2 Longines tournament, which started in 2010 and is played on clay courts. It takes place alongside the French Open - tennis' second Grand Slam of the year.
"I'm looking forward to going to Paris. I think it will be a very good experience to see how the overseas boys play and will help me to get better," said Adithya, a Secondary 1 student at Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).
An emotional Sarah dedicated her victory to her elder twin sister Sofia, who had lost to Audrey in the semi-final.
Said the Primary 6 Marymount Convent pupil: "I'm feeling so happy that I can't explain it. If not for Sofia, who trains with me and helps me warm up, I could not have accomplished what I did."
The overall winner will receive a Longines watch, an annual tennis scholarship worth US$2,000 (S$2,600) per year until they turn 16, and the chance to play in an exhibition match alongside professional tennis players.
Both Adithya and Sarah will be hoping to at least equal the achievement of last year's representative Matthias Wong, who became the first Singaporean in eight editions to win a match before being eliminated in the round-robin stage.