This years SEASAC Boys' Tennis tournament was set to be one of the most exciting ever. For UWCSEA Dover, this year would be the last chance for five seniors to win their first title. Hard work, dedication and belief were required to win the prestigious title. Leading up to the tournament, the Boys’ proved to be unbeatable in the ACSIS tournament, notching up six convincing wins over fellow Singaporean schools. During the December holidays, the doubles pairs put in a lot of hard work in order to ensure that they were gelled and ready for the tournament.
The tournament started smoothly for the Boys’, notching four close wins over their fiercest rivals, the Canadian International School of Hon Kong (CDNIS). This was followed up with a 4-1 drubbing of the team that conquered us last year, NIST. The first day culminated with a 5-0 hammering of Mont'Kiara International School (MKIS) to start the tournament on a positive note for the Phoenix Boys. The second day started in similar style, with a quick victory over Tanglin Trust School in the first match. The major test of the day came in the form of last year’s champions, Bangkok Patana School (BPS). The first two singles players lost in tight matches, whilst the two doubles team claimed easy victories. It was up to our third Singles Player, Arnav, to step up to the plate. Despite being down 5-2 in the match, he rallied to win the match in a tie-break, which ensured that UWCSEA Dover were placed first after the group stages.
Although they had progressed easily to the next round, they still had to play well in the knockout stages in order to have a chance of clinching the title. In the semi-finals, the Phoenix team faced arch-rivals NIST, who had beaten them last year in a narrow victory. Despite Dover’s easy victory in the group stages, things started on the wrong foot with the first two singles players, Ryan and Sohil losing 5-8 and 4-8 respectively. Once again it was up to third Singles Arnav to find his form in order to give the Phoenix a chance of winning the tie. Arnav found himself down 1-4 in the match, but managed to fight back to 6-6 and eventually win the encounter 8-6. Since the first Doubles team of Kailash and Shao had won convincingly, it was up to the second Doubles team, made up of Shiv and Ishaan to secure the tie for Dover. Initially racing to a 4-1 lead, they were pegged back to 6-6 with a heroic performance from Shiv ensuring an 8-6 win, allowing Dover to reach the finals for the first time in three years. The final was the last SEASAC match for the five seniors who made up the eight-person team. The final was to be played against defending champions BPS, which would be a worthy final match for the five seniors. Unfortunately, the first two singles players did not get off to good start both finishing with 8-0 hard-fought losses. Once again, Arnav found himself losing 2-0 before picking himself up to win the match 8-3 convincingly. The first Doubles team was also able to cruise to an 8-1 victory. Therefore, it was once again up to the second Doubles team to ensure a historic victory. Although the last few points were shaky, they were able to clinch a historic 8-2 win to clinch Dover’s third victory in 15 years.
The Most Valuable Player Award went to Captain Ryan Davis, whilst Arnav, Shao, Kailash, Shiv and Ishaan received best Singles 3, Doubles 1 and Doubles 2 players of the tournament respectively. Special mention has to go to Arnav, Shiv and Ishaan who were unbeaten throughout the tournament.