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HomeschoolsNanyang Girls’ High School win their first C Division tennis title

Nanyang Girls’ High School win their first C Division tennis title

SINGAPORE – When doubles pair Isabelle Lim and Inaaya Alam sealed Nanyang Girls’ High School’s 3-2 win over defending champions Methodist Girls’ School on Monday, their teammates could not contain their emotions any longer. They ran onto the court to celebrate the historic moment with the pair.

Nanyang had just clinched their first National School Games’ C Division tennis title in their history after Isabelle and Inaaya, both 13, triumphed 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 over MGS’ Jessica Lum and Ho Ming Hui in a nervy three-hour decider.

Nanyang captain Rachel Ng and the rest of her teammates had been watching with bated breath as the score was tied at 2-2. Nanyang had won the second and third singles, while MGS claimed the first singles and first doubles.

The 14-year-old recounted: “(They) had already endured over two hours of play under the scorching sun. We were very anxious as we watched it unfold.”

Admitting that there was tremendous pressure in the decider, Isabelle added: “We couldn’t help but feel nervous… we felt that we would let the team down if we lost, knowing how hard the team worked just to get into the final.

“We constantly reminded each other not to be impatient despite the 20- to 30-shot rallies, and would praise each other (throughout the match).”

Nanyang coach Tan Xu Teng called the pair’s performances “brave”. Referring to the third set, the 43-year-old said: “At this juncture of the match, it was no longer about just the tennis, but the fortitude of their heart and mind…”

Nanyang had entered the final as underdogs. After all, MGS had won four of the last five C Division girls’ titles, and also defeated Nanyang 3-2 in the preliminary rounds on July 17.

Isabelle did not feature in that match while Inaaya played in a singles tie. But Tan decided to shake things up by pairing them together in their semi-final against Raffles Girls’ School (RGS) on Aug 1.

He explained: “In doubles, where she has to generally cover less court and the doubles’ alley is in play… Isabelle is a valuable asset to our team.” 

The duo eventually lost, although the team beat RGS 3-2. Despite the pair’s defeat, Tan kept faith in them by naming the same line-up for the final.

“My belief in our girls (is determined) by their level of endeavour and attitudes to give their best effort in their matches. On these counts, Inaaya and Isabelle were exemplary,” he said.

In the earlier matches, Nanyang’s Janelle Chen defeated Marianne Tan 2-0, but Dong Yi Zhuo fell 2-0 to Sophie Chua.

Nanyang had taken the lead after Kate Yap beat Amanda Peh 2-1, but were pegged back when Rachel and Joy-Shania Lee lost 2-1 to MGS’ Kayla Wong and Nadia Penu.

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