Team Success and Belief delights Thai teenage tennis star Pimrada Jattavapornvanit

Thailand's sweet-faced 18 year-old rising tennis star Pimrada Jattavapornvanit is fast making a name for herself on the court with her left forehand smashes and deft touches in front of the net

PHOTO: SYUHAINI AZLIN, SPORTPLUS.SG


Making her Southeast Asian Games debut at the recent Hanoi, Vietnam Games in May, Thailand's sweet-faced 18 year-old rising tennis star Pimrada Jattavapornvanit is fast making a name for herself on the court with her left forehand smashes and deft touches in front of the net.

Clinching the Women's Tennis Team Gold medal, the first time the SEA Games featured a team event in tennis since 2015, Pimrada then teamed up with Lanlana Tararudee to add a silver medal to their trophy cabinet from the Women's Doubles event as well.


The pair swept aside strong Indonesian rivals Gumulya / Rompies in the semi-finals (6-2, 6-3) to set up an all Thai final with eventual winners Anchisa Chanta and Patcharin Cheapchandej, losing out only in a super tie-breaker 8-10 after coming into the match as favourites and leading from the onset.

PHOTO: SYUHAINI AZLIN, SPORTPLUS.SG


The rhythmic moves of Pimrada and Lanlana Tararudee caused an Anchisa Chanta and Patcharin Cheapchandej pairing many difficulties, resulting in the latter pair trailing for a large part of the match before launching a strong fightback to overturn the tables on their Thai teammates in a thrilling final which had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

PHOTO: SYUHAINI AZLIN, SPORTPLUS.SG


Despite a stellar showing at her maiden SEA Games, Pimrada admitted to nerves and the need to overcome the pressure and contain her excitement.


She said: "My biggest challenge was excitement and pressure from in and out of the competition because it was my debut SEA Games and it was the first time that I have to play in a packed stadium."

PHOTO: SYUHAINI AZLIN, SPORTPLUS.SG


"I had to uplift my game and stay concentrated the whole time and despite all the excitement and pressure, I still can keep calm and use my experience from previous international competitions to stay positive and motivated and focus on my game plan to fight for every point," shared the ASICS athlete, who last year reached a career high ranking of 922 in the WTA circuit.


Wearing the ASICS Solution Speed FF 2 shoes because she feels it is super light and makes her movement a lot faster on court, Pimrada's most memorable moment from the SEA Games is the success of team effort which resulted in her gold medal, as well as the support from her teammates and coaches which she believes helped the Thai's in their dominance of the medal tally.

PHOTO: SYUHAINI AZLIN, SPORTPLUS.SG


When asked if she had any advice for budding teenage tennis stars who may look up to her, the 18 year-old added: "For those facing challenges, I hope everyone will get through and keep believing in yourself that you have the potential to do everything that you love and enjoy every single day of the process."


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