Wed, 12 Sep 2001

Indonesia takes women's team tennis gold

KUALA LUMPUR (Agencies): Indonesia's women's tennis team wasted no time in downing hosts Malaysia to take the gold medal at the 21st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games here on Tuesday.

Wimbledon junior champion Angelique Wijaya did not play in the singles competition, but the Indonesians proved that they remained too strong for the Malaysians, winning all three matches at the Jalan Duta Tennis Complex.

Indonesia maintained its perfect record in the event, having won the women's team tennis gold in every SEA Games dating back to 1977.

For the Malaysians, the silver medal was an improvement from the bronze they won in Brunei two years ago. Malaysia has also won the bronze twice prior to the Brunei games.

Thailand, without its top-ranked players, and Vietnam took the bronzes.

Tired-looking Malaysia could have rued its energy-sapping match against Thailand in the semifinals on Monday, but that is no reason to question the superiority of the Indonesians.

Indonesian singles player Romana Tedjakusuma outclassed Malaysia's Tan Lynn Yin with her superb court control to win the match 6-2, 6-1 in less than an hour.

In the second singles game, Wynne Prakusya hardly broke into a sweat in beating Khoo Chin Bee 6-1, 6-4 in a match that lasted around one hour.

Khoo, who put up a determined effort in the match against Thailand, tried her best to make a comeback in the second set but the Indonesian was simply too good for her.

The doubles match was a tame affair, with the Indonesian pair of veteran Yayuk Basuki and teenager Angelique Wijaya needing only 40 minutes to cast aside Tan Lynn Yin and Liaw Chen Yee 6-1, 6-0.


Indonesian team manager Aga Soemarno gave credit to the Malaysians, saying they could have been exhausted by the hard- fought match against Thailand on Monday.

He said Indonesia would now concentrate on winning two more golds to reach the tally they have targeted in the tennis.

At the Brunei games in 1999, Indonesia won the gold medal in the women's team and women's doubles events.

Men's team

Meanwhile, the Indonesian men's team cruised to the final after defeating the Philippines 3-0 in Tuesday's semifinals.

Indonesia got off to a winning start, with Peter Handoyo overpowering Joseph Victorino 6-2, 6-2 in the first singles event. Former men's singles champion Suwandi tamed Johnny Arcilla 6-3, 6-4 before the solid partnership of veterans Sulistyo Wibowo and Bonit Wiryawan completed the victory.

However, it was not an easy match for the veterans, with the Philippine duo of Johnny Arcilla and Michael Mora III putting up a strong fight before succumbing to a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 loss.

Indonesia has set up a final rematch with defending champions Thailand, which had a very easy 3-0 victory over Myanmar.

Vittaya Samrej beat Khin Maung Win 6-2, 6-0, followed by Danai Udomchoke who did not lose a game against Maung Zaw Zaw Latt in her 6-0, 6-0 victory.

Pracharapol Khamsaman and Attapol Rithiwatanapong defeated M Tu Tu Ja and Maung Tu Maw 6-1, 6-3 for the finals berth. (nvn)