MELBOURNE’S famously erratic weather caused a huge upset in this year’s Malaysian Games tennis men’s singles final, but it didn’t stop women’s singles champ Elaine Koay taking home a straight-sets victory. Grace Yew reports.
The Malaysian Games 2013 tennis men’s singles final between Monash University undergraduate Xian Long and Commonwealth Bank employee Chan Loon at Albert Reserve Tennis Centre last Sunday didn’t produce a winner as heavy rain prematurely ended the match 6-2, 4-6, 3-1.
Chan Loon started the first set brightly, firing off a few good shots but Xian Long soon turned the tables with two smashes and a well-placed lob that Chan Loon had no chance retrieving.
At the beginning of the second set, Chan Loon again took an early lead, scoring an ace. This time, he made it stick, claiming the set.
During the third set, the sudden onset of wet weather halted play and both players agreed to end the set with Xian Long two games in the lead.
The mixed doubles and women’s singles finals were played earlier and hence, spared a rainy interruption.
The duo of Elaine Koay and Xian Long ruthlessly defended their mixed doubles title, destroying second-year commerce students Ian Goh and Michelle Tan in final 6 – 0, 6 -4.
Before the match, Ian and Michelle were at a disadvantage having just concluded a hard-fought, two-hour semi-final.
However, they had a rough strategy in mind. “(Michelle) hasn’t played for a while…so to prevent her from getting attacked, she goes to the side and up to the net so she has a better chance at defence,” Ian said.
The strategy was a flop during the first set. Ian’s and Michelle’s errant shots and failure to counter Xian Long’s aggressive play didn’t help either.
Undaunted, Ian and Michelle fought valiantly in the second set and even won a few games, but it was all for naught as Elaine and Xian Long eventually put them out of their misery.
Michelle’s nightmare wasn’t over though as she then lost the women’s singles final to Elaine, 6-1, 6-0.
Elaine kept her cool throughout the match, effortlessly breaking Michelle’s serves. Flustered, Michelle committed more unforced errors, gifting Elaine a swift straight-sets victory.