Writer: Ng Sze Hwee
Editor: Pearly Neo
KEVII tennis girls clinched the championship in last year’s IHG , so their performance at IHG this year was watched with really high anticipation. Great as they were, the girls fought their way through, first to the semi-finals, then to the finals, only to miss the title this year by a small margin. However, we are all still really proud of their brilliant performance! Here is an interview with Jennyline, the captain of the Tennis (F) team, and what she has to say about the IHG as well as the team.
Firstly, I would like to congratulate you and the team for making into the finals this year. The tennis ihg is over and I think you and your team did extremely well. How do you feel about this year’s tennis ihg?
About Tennis IHG on the whole, I think the standard is still rather similar to last year, and I believe it is rather difficult to up the standard, as tennis is not a very common sport and not many people have the passion to take up this sport.
2. How do you think the girls/team fared this year?
I think they did quite well, considering the amount of time they all had to train. Especially for the freshmen on the team, all of them except Shereen don’t really have experience in playing matches and competing, so it was a really good performance. I’m really proud of the whole team for putting up a great fight, never giving up even when they were trailing during the games. Tennis IHG is not only about skills but also depends on luck, especially with the line-up, so I guess this year we’re just down on our luck with our line-up during the finals.
3. In particular, what do you feel about Shereen’s (famous) 4 hour long match?
I think she fought very hard, tried to vary her game and use all the different shots that she had during the game, trying to create chances for herself. There were some rallies that went on for almost 2-3 minutes, in which I felt she did unexpectedly well. I think it’s a good experience for her as well as the rest, because tennis matches do sometimes tend to drag for very long, especially for ladies’ matches, so everyone should understand why it is important to train up their fitness if they want to play competitive tennis. It is not uncommon for tennis matches to last for 3-4 hours, so ultimately it boils down to who can last longer on court. But in general, Shereen did us proud, with her fighting spirit, and the never-say-die attitude which made her continue playing even though she was cramping up really bad at the end of the 2nd set.
4. I know that your girls trained really hard for the ihg this year. As team captain this year, what changes have there been for the team, compared to last year—training wise as well as members’ standards?
Trainings this year were more structured, although this year’s team had more players who did not have much tennis background. On the whole, our team’s standard was a level lower than last year’s, I would say, but of course the players did put in the effort to train and I believe those who started off with least background showed greatest improvement when IHG started.
5. Do you think that having a coach is important to see success in IHG?
I don’t believe it is crucial to have a professional coach but it is important to have seniors or experienced players on the team to at least guide the newer or less experienced players on the team. After all, it is only IHG and the standard of competition does not call for the need to hire a proper coach.
6. I think the KE tennis team is really fortunate to have you guiding them this year. Are there any difficulties you faced leading the team?
There were definitely difficulties when leading the team, such as the issue of training timings and holiday trainings. These were expected, especially when there are locals and foreigners on my team. Holiday training attendance was poor and there was just too little time to teach much. Some members also have multiple commitments in hall, so it was difficult to find time to have training where all members can be present.
7. If there was one thing you could change about your team, what would it be?
I don’t think there is anything I would want to change about my team, as all teams have their strong and weak points, so I think this year’s team is good enough as they are.
8. What got you started on playing tennis in the first place, and what drives you to keep on playing?
I started playing when I was about 9, but at that time my parents just wanted us to be active and to take up a new sport. After learning for a year plus, we seemed to be quite good at it so my parents got us to train under a proper coach and so we started playing competitively in Malaysia. Since then, I guess my passion for the game grew and so I just kept on playing. Now I just play because I like the game and it is a good form of exercise for me to stay active and it just seems natural for me to play tennis whenever I’m free and want to exercise.
9. Here’s the last question. Any words of encouragement or love you want to express to the tennis team? ;)
I would like to thank everyone on team for putting up with me throughout all the training sessions and also for putting in the effort to learn and apply whatever that was taught to them. They all really played well during IHG and I’m very proud of their performance, despite not winning the gold. Hope they’ll all continue to play tennis next year and put up a good fight at next year’s IHG.
Kudos to the tennis captain and her team once again for their great job! We would love to see their dazzling performance again next year. All the best to the team!