The Fed Cup is the world’s premier women’s international team tennis competition. Singapore, ranked 63rd in the world, must navigate a gifted field of 6 nations in Dushanbe, Tajikistan to gain promotion to Asia/ Oceania Zone Group I. Standing in their way are Asian powerhouse Chinese Taipei and regional rivals Philippines.
This year’s team consists returning players from last year’s squad Charmaine Seah and Lynelle Lim, as well as debutant Izabella Tan. Rounding out the team is Ashley Yim, who last played in the 2016 edition of the tournament. Veteran player Daniel Heryanta Dewandaka will captain the team in Tajikistan.
Team Singapore tennis player Charmaine Seah in action. Photo: Freddy Chew / SportSG
We caught up with Team Singapore tennis player Charmaine Seah ahead of the Asia/ Oceania Zone Group II competition to find out more about her hopes and aspirations for the upcoming tournament.
19-year-old Seah is a veteran of three Fed Cups and is raring to improve on her record, having tasted cruel defeat in the promotion play-off semi-final in 2018 despite winning her singles tie.
“In the last two Fed Cup tournaments I participated in, Singapore came very close to earning a promotion to Group 1. Our team has been training very hard, and it is definitely our goal to be promoted,” said Seah via email.
“Tennis is very much an individual sport and so I really enjoy playing Fed Cup because it is a team effort,” she continued.
Seah credits the esprit de corps of the team and her pride in wearing national colours for spurring her on in the Fed Cup.
Charmaine (front) and Stefanie Tan (back) competing in the 2018 Fed Cup. Photo: Singapore Tennis Association
“It is certainly very different from other tennis tournaments, because instead of playing for ourselves, we are playing for the team and our country… everyone in the team plays an important role, as an individual win or loss of a match does not determine the final outcome against our opponents. In my opinion, it is just so much better to be fighting together than alone.”
“To have your teammates cheering for you and vice versa creates a fun and encouraging atmosphere to compete in!” said the WTA-ranked singles and doubles player.
Seah has moved up from the juniors and is now competing on the women’s circuit where she is relishing the new challenge. “Transitioning from the junior to women circuit has been very challenging, as opponents are much tougher and formidable. It has been a very good learning ground for me to be able to compete with such high-level players.”
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