The highly anticipated Table Tennis Finals was held on 21st April 2015, with our Boys and Girls teams having succeeded in progressing to the finals after months of arduous training and intense competition. In the match for the team championship title, both teams faced traditional powerhouse, Raffles Institution (RI). Our Boys and Girls teams displayed sportsmanship and great fighting spirit, eventually concluding their season as 1st Runners Up for both teams.
There are a total of 5 matches in the finals, in the following order: 1st Singles, 1st Doubles, 2nd Singles, 2nd Doubles and 3rd Singles. Each match consists of 5 games, and the game is won by the team that first scores 11 points, with the exception when both players have scored 10 points, of which the game can only be won by the first player that scores a subsequent 2 points.
The first player to win 3 out of 5 games in the match wins, and the first team to win 3 of the 5 matches in the finals wins the overall championship!
Table tennis players typically use a mix of offensive strokes and defensive strokes in their game. Offensive strokes include a direct hit, loop (topspin applied), counter-drive (allows the ball to travel faster to the other side) and the smash! Defensive strokes range from a push (slice with backspin), chop (backspin but heavier push), block and the lob (high shot landing on the other side with a lot of spin).
A Div Boys
Chen Zhaofeng 14S69
Kevin Li 14S6E
Thio Teng Kiat 14S6H
Justin Foo 14S7A
Darrel Chua 14S67
Iven Lim 14S6A
Kenneth Koh 15S6E
Matthew Woo 15S65
Loy Wei Peng 15S65
Chong Joseph 15S6J
Samuel Wong 15S67
Match 1 – Singles [HCI 1-3 RI]
Player: Chen Zhaofeng
Round 1: HCI 3-11 RI
Zhaofeng immediately started off with a promising start, as he delivered an impressive top-spin that our opponent missed. Determined to give in his all, he delivered a second top-spin soon after, which caught the opponent off-guard. This brought the score to 2-0. However, our opponent did not back down, eventually bringing the score up to 2-10. Throughout the match, Zhaofeng tried valiantly to defend the opponents’ shots. Not giving up until the last minute, he scored a point against the opponent, bringing the score to 3-10. However, RI proved a strong contender, and scored the final point, with the final score being 3-11.
Round 2: HCI 11-4 RI
Zhaofeng performed extremely well in this round, eventually concluding with a very convincing point margin against RI. Zhaofeng started off incredibly well and managed to score 4 consecutive points, bringing the score to 4-1. The rest of the round was fast-paced, and our player delivered many good serves as well as offensive shots, that resulted in him maintaining a convincing lead. Midway through the round, the score was 6-4. Intense exchanges continued for the rest of the round, but it was Zhaofeng who outdid the opponent and chalked up the next 5 points, concluding with an impressive score of 11-4.
Round 3: HCI 9-11 RI
This was a nerve-wrecking round, which concluded with an incredibly close score of 9-11 to RI. It consisted of a series of fast exchanges, and on many counts, Zhaofeng executed a series of jaw-dropping saves and offensive strokes, which clearly impressed all of us! When the score was 8-10, at match point, Zhaofeng nevertheless remained level-headed, delivering a counter-drive that was out of reach of the opponent, and narrowing the score to 9-10! The game eventually concluded 9-11 to RI, but it was nevertheless an exciting and close fight.
Round 4: HCI 10-12 RI
This round was undoubtedly the most tense of rounds, as RI would win the match if they were to win this round. Zhaofeng clearly fought hard, as seen from the close score throughout the game, as he tried to gain a lead against the opponent. Towards the end of the round, the score was 9-10, and the next point, if scored by the opponent, would result in RI winning the overall match. What was notable was that Zhaofeng showed immense grit and determination, levelling the score to 10-10 which resulted in a deuce! Eventually, RI won the subsequent 2 points, bringing the final score to 10-12.
Match 2 – Doubles [HCI 1-3 RI]
Players: Kenneth Koh and Thio Teng Kiat
Round 1: HCI 12-10 RI
Our players, Kenneth and Teng Kiat, got off on a strong start as they scored 3-0 in no time. However, our opponents soon caught up, and the match continued with a series of nerve-wrecking draws, as HCI and RI teams took turns to score. The round culminated in a 10-10 deuce, where Kenneth and Teng Kiat executed a series of well-executed top spins, as well as smashes, to triumph with a score of 12-10 eventually.
Round 2: HCI 3-11 RI
Although our opponent had an impressive win this round, our players did well and delivered their defensive strokes well. Though our opponents gained the lead not too long after the match began with a score of 1-3, Kenneth and Teng Kiat fought hard, pushing boundaries as they attempted to gain a lead, and managed to close the margin to 2-3. However, the RI doubles team executed numerous smashes that were difficult for our players to return, thus resulting in them scoring many points consecutively. Even though at the end of it, RI undoubtedly performed well in this round with a final score of 3-11, however, our players fought their best and forged through the round, displaying incredible sportsmanship and notable skill against their opponents.
Round 3: HCI 6-11 RI
RI took the early lead in the beginning of this round, scoring 6 consecutive points and bringing the score to 2-6. However, while the Boys were taken by surprise, they nevertheless kept their cool, especially towards the end where they delivered an impressive smash which left the opponent caught off guard and unable to return the ball, bringing the score to 6-9. RI won the subsequent 2 points, concluding the round, but Kenneth and Teng Kiat never once gave up throughout, and put up a good fight.
Round 4: HCI 8-11 RI
Even though RI had an early lead again, our players displayed strong fighting spirit, delivering a series of side-spins as well as defensive strokes, which saved several strong returns from the opponent duo. It was match point when the score was 3-10 to RI, however our players kept their cool and continued to give in their best, executing counter-drives that left opponents unable to react in time and hitting out of the table. They eventually scoring 5 consecutive points to level the score to 8-10, until RI scored the final point. It was a grueling match, which displayed the Boys’ remarkable fighting spirit!
Match 3 – Singles [HCI 0-3 RI]
Player: Kevin Li
Round 1: HCI 5-11 RI
The opponent proved to be incredibly skilled, as he started the match immediately with a 1-0 win against Kevin. However, Kevin did not back down, and executed a top-spin, which caught the opponent off-guard levelling the score to 1-1. Between Kevin and the opponent, neither were willing to back down and this escalated the round, as both executed fast-paced offensive strokes. Eventually, the opponent won 5-11, but Kevin’s skill and tenacity were clearly shown in this round.
Round 2: HCI 2-11 RI
Kevin started off with a lead of 2-0 immediately after the round began. However, the opponent unleashed all his energy, executing smashes, top spins, side spins, in order to throw Kevin off guard. Kevin retaliated valiantly and gave in his all, always keeping his spirits up and never once backing down. However, the opponent was not to be trifled with. He was quick on his feet and able to deflect the defensive strokes executed by our player. In the end, this round went to RI, with a score of 2-11.
Round 3: HCI 4-11 RI
This was potentially the last round for RI – they would win the championship if they won this round. The opponent maintained his good form despite the previous 2 rounds, and Kevin also did his utmost best to deliver the appropriate defensive strokes, in response to the smashes and top-spins executed by the opponent. He delivered some brilliant top spins and direct hits, which earned him some points against RI, bringing the score to 4-6. The opponent did not back down, nevertheless, and scored 5 consecutive points to conclude the match. However, Kevin’s valiant and commendable efforts to retaliate the shots delivered by the opponent were definitely clearly evident in this last round.
Although we did not clinch the championship title, it is clearly evident how much effort and determination our Boys have put in into it. With such an exemplary and commendable attitude, we are sure that they would be able to achieve greater heights next year. All the best and congratulations!
A Div Girls
Tan Xi Min (14S65)
Wu Xinyi (14S77)
Crystal Yang (14S62)
Tan Li Ting (14S73)
Zhu Zheya (14S73)
Ng Min Yi (14S6H)
Samantha Ong (15S6B)
Ang Zi Tang (15S79)
Wang Yi Ge (15S6A)
Zhang Siyao (15S6A)
Louisa Chiong (15S78)
Huang Teng Yue (15S6Q)
Liu Jia Lin (15S6Q)
Match 1 – Singles [HCI 1-3 RI]
Player: Tan Li Ting
Round 1: HCI 11-8 RI
Li Ting started off the match impressively, quickly gaining the lead and bringing the score to 3-1. Both players started to gain momentum in their play and the score slowly increased to 6-6, despite attempts by Li Ting to maintain her lead. Eager to regain her lead, Li Ting produced some excellent shots that caught our opponent off-guard. Her opponents displayed equally powerful strokes that kept the round at a draw at 8-8. Li Ting’s spirit eventually outdid our opponent and won 3 consecutive points, concluding the match at a score of 11-8. Well done, Li Ting!
Round 2: HCI 7-11 RI
Fresh from her win from the first game, Li Ting continued her good form by starting the second game well with accurate smashes that gave her a 2-point lead at 3-1. Yet, our opponent proved to be a strong force as both sides engaged in long rallies. A deadly long shot in the corner by our opponent, once again, brought the game level at 5-5. A few unfortunate errors made by Li Ting allowed her opponent to inch closer to a win, and despite Li Ting’s tough effort, the round ended 11-7 in RI’s favour.
Round 3: HCI 3-11 RI
The third game began with Li Ting determined to improve on her performance in the previous game. However, her offensive strokes just missed the table and she soon found herself trailing her opponent 0-2. Li Ting then tried to increase the momentum of play and succeeded in the opportunity for her to launch a high smash and continued with some fine shots to reduce her opponent’s lead to 2-3. Li Ting fought hard, but her opponent remained resilient and executed several shots with heavy amounts of spin and careful returns. The game ended with a score of 3-11 to HCI.
Round 4: HCI 4-11 RI
Knowing that a win for our opponent in this game would end the match, Li Ting certainly gave her all in this game and winning the first point. The previous two sets proved gruelling for Li Ting as she succumbed to our opponent’s lightning fast smashes. In midgame, a closely-fought rally allowed Li Ting to secure the point and regain her composure, bringing the score to 3-7. Both players continued to have even more intense rallies as the game proceeded, in which Li Ting’s opponent continued to amass points, ending the match 4-11 to HCI.
Match 2 – Doubles [HCI 0-3 RI]
Players: Samantha Ong and Ang Zi Tang
Round 1: HCI 4-11 RI
Samantha and Zi Tang got off to a smooth start as they engaged our opponents in an nerve-wrecking rally which ended when a smash was delivered in our favour, bringing the score to 2-2. The first game was dominated by several rallies where both HCI and RI exchanged long shots that challenged one’s agility. Despite chances created for Samantha and Zi Tang to deliver strong smashes that would score crucial points, our opponents remained composed amidst the pressure, and triumphed with a score of 11-4.
Round 2: HCI 4-11 RI
Samantha and Zi Tang varied their shots amid the pace of the game in the second set, however they remained outsmarted as our opponents were still in the lead at a score of 1-7. Despite this, the pair continued to fight on and attempted to close the point gap. Ultimately, a more consistent effort by our opponents allowed them to gain a few precious points and we lost out on the same score of 4-11 to RI.
Round 3: HCI 3-11 RI
Samantha and Zi Tang kept their resolve and still put up a strong fight in the third set. They managed to level the game at 1-1, kudos to a confident start by the pair. This proved to be the most exciting game yet as Samantha and Zi Tang continued to challenge our opponents, with both sides introducing different spins in their game that increased the difficulty of returning the shot well. Samantha and Zi Tang gained another 2 points through shots that landed far out of their opponents’ reach, however our opponents’ skillfulness meant that we had to settle for a defeat with a score of 3-11.
Match 3 – Singles [HCI 3-1 RI]
Player: Wang Yi Ge
Round 1: HCI 11-7 RI
Even though our opponent secured the lead initially with a score of 4-0 in their favour, Yi Ge picked up momentum and scored her first point with a deadly smash that our opponent’s weak return was denied by the net. Yi Ge maintained her excellent form as she displayed brilliant shots and service that denied our opponent crucial points. However, the game remained competitive as our opponent equalised at 7-7. A strong ending to the game by Yi Ge saw her securing 4 points in a row, ending the game at 11-7!
Round 2: HCI 9-11 RI
Brimming with enthusiasm, both sides were neck-to-neck in terms of the score, taking turns to be in the lead. Yi Ge performed brilliantly, delivering many excellent long shots, that resulted in numerous rallies between her and her opponent, many of which they did not manage to The point margin remained extremely close, which was extremely nerve-wrecking to the spectator, as well as our player. Finally, after a tie at 9-9, RI managed to earn 2 points, and this ended the round with a score of 9-11.
Round 3: HCI 11-4 RI
This round was a clear indication of Yi Ge’s skill and quick-wittedness at the table tennis table. She managed to secure a lead of 3-1 at the start of the game. While the opponent had her fair share of impressive strokes and gameplay as well, she maintained this lead even until mid-game, with a score of 6-4. Thereafter, she executed some remarkable smashes, which often left her opponent taken aback and unable to react to these strokes, and this resulted in her winning 5 consecutive points, bringing the score to 11-4.
Round 4: HCI 11-9 RI
This round was an extremely engaging one, as both sides displayed a fair share of techniques and skills. RI started off confidently with a 4 point lead, however, a well-executed smash resulted in Yi Ge scoring a well-deserved point, which marked the start of yet another close fight for points. With a series of excellent smashes, Yi Ge managed to break the 9-9 tie, and confidently gained 2 more points with stunning offensive strokes, to conclude the match with a win of 11-9.
Match 4 – Doubles [HCI 3-2 RI]
Players: Tan Xi Min and Crystal Yang
Round 1: HCI 11-5 RI
Being experienced players, Xi Min and Crystal snatched an early 2-point lead into the first game. Several errors made by our opponents allowed them to extend their lead to 5 points, bringing the score to 6-1. However, our opponents did not give up and began to intensify the competition and tried to match every point gained by Xi Min and Crystal. An excellent smash that our opponents failed to reach out for gave our pair the lead at 8-3. The game finally ended 11-5 in the favour of Xi Min and Crystal, after an impressive rally.
Round 2: HCI 10-12 RI
The second game immediately saw both sides attempting to unleash their skills, as the score quickly increased to 2-2 which placed both sides level. A couple of confident strokes that outsmarted our opponents allowed Xi Min and Crystal to gain the lead. The subsequent unsuccessful return shots by our opponents resulted in Xi Min and Crystal leading at 7-4. Yet, our opponents fought back, with a series of skilful smashes, and they were rewarded with a consecutive 5 points that gave them the lead at 8-10. Xi Min and Crystal gave their best effort, but it was not enough to prevent our opponents from winning the second game at 10-12 after it went into deuce.
Round 3: HCI 11-5 RI
The third game turned out vastly different from the previous one, as Xi Min and Crystal regained momentum in their play! In no time, they achieved a huge lead at 6-1. Though our opponents stayed spirited and showed no signs of retreat as they created opportunities to challenge Xi Min and Crystal through smashes that landed rather accurately. This brought the score to 8-5. Xi Min and Crystal pressed on and unleashed their capabilities in securing the next 3 points, winning this game 11-5.
Round 4: HCI 7-11 RI
Xi Min and Crystal, weary from the previous sets, failed to continue their form as they made several errors, resulting in our opponents having the lead at 5-0 in their favour. Xi Min and Crystal finally scored their first point with an excellent shot that caught our opponent off guard. Slowly regaining confidence, Xi Min and Crystal accumulated another 6 points in impressive fashion, reducing our opponent’s lead. The score begin to climb from 2-8 to 4-10, and then to 7-10, and without doubt, the atmosphere was extremely tense as everyone awaited to see if Xi Min and Crystal could catch up to our opponent’s 10 points. However, our opponents managed to seal off their victory in the fourth game, and HCI lost out 7-11.
Round 5: HCI 11-7 RI
This was the final set, in which the winning pair would win the match. At the start, Xi Min and Crystal eased into a lead by attempting top-spin shots that sent our opponents’ return into the net, bringing the score to 3-0. Both pairs showed their huge desire to end the match in their favour through their long rallies. Eventually, Xi Min and Crystal did not give in to pressure and continued having the upper hand throughout the game, finally winning the game 11-7, kudos to their consistent effort. With the win, the last match (third singles) would be the deciding match for the overall championship title!
Match 5 – Singles [HCI 1-3 RI]
Player: Zhang Si Yao
Round 1: HCI 12-10 RI
Si Yao got on to a good start, displaying much skill and ferocity, gaining a convincing lead with a score of 7-3. However, our opponent proved not to be meddled with as she, in turn, scored the next 4 points due to several oversights on Si Yao’s part, and levelled the score at 7-7. Si Yao however, remained on her feet and gave in her all, delivering impressive side-spins and counter-drives, that often caught the opponent off-guard, consequently winning the round with a score of 12-10.
Round 2: HCI 10-12 RI
This was undoubtedly a very intense round, as both players sought to put in their best and showed a variety of defensive as well as offensive strokes. Our opponent started with a good serve, which eventually allowed them to scored the first point of the round. However, Si Yao did not give up and continued to remain on her toes, always ready to outdo her opponent as far as possible. This led to her scoring the subsequent 4 consecutive points, bringing the score to 4-1. However, our opponent was not one to be trifled with, and consequently retaliated by delivering more smashes, which brought the score to 5-5. Thereafter, both parties engaged in several long shot rallies and RI eventually won by a mere 2 point margin after a deuce.
Round 3: HCI 5-11 RI
Si Yao’s play was largely affected by her stamina, as our opponent continued her good form from the previous game. This culminated in crucial points lost by Si Yao, as she was trailing by 5 points at a score of 1-6. However, Si Yao pushed on and with her determination, she managed to secure more points through continuing showing her strength in smashes, which increased in accuracy. While this allowed her to gain a further 4 points, our opponent also started long rallies which tested Si Yao’s quick reflexes. These rallies saw both players delivering long shots. Eventually, the game ended 11-5 in RI’s favour.
Round 4: HCI 8-11 RI
As the crowd roared on for both players, Si Yao continued to fight hard, despite a poor start that allowed RI to lead 1-6. Nevertheless, Si Yao was focused on creating more opportunities for herself to win points, and she did so as she scored consecutive points in closing the gap from 2-6 to 7-8. The game was levelled at 8-8 after yet another well-executed smash by Si Yao. This added tremendous anxiety and excitement to the atmosphere. It was a nerve-wrecking situation, as RI only needed to win the next 3 points to secure victory. In the end, excellent shots by our opponents sealed the last three points for them, and they won this game with a score of 11-8 in their favour. It was a commendable display by Si Yao, as she definitely pushed our opponent near her limits with the match lasting four intense games.
Even though the Girls team did not clinch the championship title, their efforts definitely paid off as they improved on their score against RI (1-4) in the preliminary rounds. With the optimism and determination shown, we are sure that they would be able to achieve greater heights next year. Congratulations on your achievements so far and all the best!
41st CCA PROs