Singapore's Stefanie Tan created a piece of history on Wednesday when she reached the semi-final of the women's tennis competition at the SEA Games, according to the Strait Times.
Tan trounced Tran Thuy Thanh Truc in their quarter-final encounter 6-0, 6-0 to progress into the semis on Thursday, where she is guaranteed a bronze even if she loses. On Tuesday, Tan dispatched Malaysian Jawairiah Noordin 6-0, 6-2 in the round of 16.
The President of the Singapore National Olympic Council Tan Chuan-Jin couldn't hide his happiness and pride at such a joyous occasion, expressing his delight with Tan's win and urged the tennis community to build on it.
"Last time we fielded a tennis team in the SEA Games was in 2001," he said in a Facebook post.
"Last time we had a women's singles medal in SEA Games was in 1983 ... 34 years ago.
"We now have at least a BRONZE!!!!!! Well done. Come on. Let's build on this!"
Tan now has a real chance of winning the gold medal, having already been assured a bronze medal, making her the first female Singaporean to win a singles medal in tennis in 34 years, as per reports by the Net.
Tan, 24, who plays professionally on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) circuit, had earlier cited the example of this year's French Open champion teenager Jelena Ostapenko as an inspiration.
The 19-year-old Latvian Ostapenko took the tennis world by surprise when she beat favourite Simona Halep for the title in May.
"She was completely under the radar prior to the event, no one expected anything from her. She was a complete underdog, but she played fearless tennis and that got her through her matches," said Tan in an interview with Yahoo News Singapore.
"It really showed that anything can happen if you believe in yourself, stick to your guns, and most importantly, be fearless," she added.
Tan said before the start of the SEA Games that she was relishing the opportunity for her family and friends to watch her in action.
"It has been a while since my family and friends have seen me compete, and so I'm excited to have their support and will try my best to do them – and more importantly, the country – proud," she had said.