Tennis: Zan Ning claims historic win in Sarawak Closed


Zan Ning and other Open singles winners posing with Liew (centre) after the prize presentation.

KUCHING (May 23): Lim Zan Ning of Kuching created history when she became the first female player to win the Open singles title of the Sarawak Closed tennis tournament that was held at the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association Centre on Sunday.

The 18-year-old, who has just sat for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination and was competing in this event for the first time, bounced back from one set down 6-7 (6) to beat Mohd Norhairi Khaidir 6-3, 10-8 in the final.

This victory earned Zan Ning RM800, while Norhairi collected RM400 and losing semifinalists Shawn Lee and Emerson John received RM200 each.

Zan Ning, when contacted, said she didn’t expect to win the Open singles and that she had tried her best to play her normal game.

“Yes, I feel good with this win. It was a close game and I felt really tired after that.

“I am planning to play next in the National Circuit Leg 1 in Negeri Sembilan next month and hopefully can do well there,” she told The Borneo Post.

Asked whether she would consider attending the Sukma XXI Long List Assessment which will also be held sometime in June, Zan Ning replied she is still discussing the matter with her parents and coaches.

SLTA president Dato Patrick Liew, who presented the prizes to the winners, congratulated Zan Ning on her success and said he will be talking to her parents on the possibility of her joining the Sukma Long List Assessment.

“It is an incredible breakthrough for a young girl to challenge and beat the men in this tournament.

“Tennis is for all regardless of gender and l do hope more girls/women will emulate her,” he added.

Meanwhile, tournament second seeds Shawn Lee and Emerson John were crowned the Open Doubles champions after they overcame the challenge from Mohd Norhairi Khaidir-Mohd Hanif Pauzi 7-5, 6-7(3), 10-8 in the final.

In joint third were Kelvin Chong-Gilbert Yeo and Mohd Rabaie-Mario Apok.

The Veteran singles title went to Amin Tamel who beat Muhammad Randie Abdullah 6-3, 2-6, 10-4 while Simon Tiong and Wahi Sahmad finished joint third.

Amin collected another prize when he partnered Wahi to beat Simon Tiong-Allister Smith 6-0, 4-6, 10-4 in the Veteran Doubles final while finishing joint third were Alistair Then-Christopher Bishop and Muhammad Randie-Patrick Siqueen.