KYS Tennis Team spins the ball to victory

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By Jessenia Hani

What defines a champion is the ability to thrive under the pressure of competition. This has been proven by three young women from Kolej Yayasan Saad. Following the exceptional performance of the KYSM Tennis Team during the Tennis MSSNM 2022 Tournament, Jasmine Hasya Binti Junaidi, Jessenia Hani Binti Junaidi, and Dalia Yasmin Binti Ahmad Farid beat out the top players in Melaka and qualified to take part in the MSSM Tennis Championship 2022, which was held at the Tennis Complex, MITC Melaka from September 4th to September 8th, 2022.

The three girls were subjected to a thorough selection procedure on August 27th. After their selection as state players, they went through a week of intensive training to prepare for the big day, with the help of coaches and teachers. Along with 15 other Melaka players, the team checked into Riaz Hotel on the 3rd of September. They settled down and were then briefed on the next day’s game so they’d know what to expect and headed early to sleep.

Finally, the long awaited tournament had arrived. They’ve put in tons of blood, sweat and tears along with hard work and determination to prove themselves. Nerves surrounded the atmosphere as players were waiting to play their first bouts of the competition on the opening day.

The first day was a round-robin tournament that lasted until the next day, determining the fate of the players. The day was a fruitful one for the Melaka team, emerging with qualifiers in nine different categories.

As the second day arrived, they were unlucky to face inclement weather that caused the matches to be delayed. Our U15 Melaka Girls Doubles team competed with athletes from Terengganu. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side as they were defeated by only mere few points difference.

However, this did not deter the two girls, who remained focused on their ultimate objective of victory in the next few games. The players were restless because the games ended late at night. Despite this, they were excited and prepared for the next day and made sure to have a good night’s sleep.

The round-robin matches drew to a close on the third day. These last matches determined the players’ qualifying for the following level, the quarter-finals. On September 6th, the enthusiasm and determination were through the roof.

The players fought valiantly in all of their matches and finally only four categories of the Melaka Team qualified for the quarter-finals, including Jasmine Hasya of KYS the U18 Girls Doubles. This strengthened the Melaka Team’s desire and ambition to win additional matches.

The penultimate day of the competition saw the commencement of the quarter-finals matches where the three individuals and two pairs from Melaka played their games with a burning desire to achieve their ultimate aim of winning big. The rest of the team would cheer and encourage the players in winning their bouts.

One of the famous cheers used by the players was ‘Spin The Ball!‘ that encouraged and uplifted the spirits of the players resulting in the winning of Gareth Lim (U12 Boys Singles), Jasmine Hasya and Aida Syamilah (U18 Girls Doubles) in the semi-finals event that day qualifying them for the final round of the tournament.

Alas, the most nerve-wracking but exciting day arrived. Both the U12 Boys Singles and the U18 Girls Doubles competed against Johor in the Finals. These two matches lasted for a long duration and the team members cheered for the players anxiously. It was a race against the clock for the players fighting to score every point that was crucial in bringing home the gold

Although the participants encountered many hurdles in their journey, it was proven that hard work really does pay off as the Melaka Team won a silver medal in the U18 Girls Doubles and a gold medal in the U12 Boys Singles in this competition. Needless to say, everyone returned as victors who have demonstrated that success comes from tireless and great determination.

These athletes have proved that when you put in all your effort- both physically and mentally, the spirit of athletics comes alive and only then will we reach our limits.

It is with this opportunity, we would like to convey our utmost gratitude to our tennis advisor, Ms. Catherine Sharlene Fernandez, and coach, Mr. Ahza Saufi, for making such a significant contribution in helping our KYSM players spread their wings towards success. Their assistance in physically and emotionally preparing the girls was a critical part of their journey.

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