SINGAPORE — Four months after finally breaking into the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles rankings after an arduous four-year professional journey, Singapore’s Sarah Pang has made another significant breakthrough on Monday (9 December).
The 34-year-old has made her debut in the women’s doubles rankings in the latest update by WTA on Monday, after reaching the quarter-finals of an International Tennis Federation US$25,000 (S$34,000) tournament with Indian partner Arthi Muniyan in Bhopal, India, last month.
She is ranked world No. 1,177 in the WTA doubles rankings.
Three-month hiatus to raise funding
Pang’s quarter-final showing in Bhopal was all the more significant as she was forced to take a three-month hiatus from touring in order to raise funding to continue competing on the professional circuit.
“Tour is all about momentum, and it is always challenging to build it up again whenever one has to stop,” Pang said in a media statement released on Tuesday.
“In spite of this forced Tour hiatus, it is very affirming to still be able to break through at a higher level. I work doubly hard within our landscape to concurrently fundraise, train, and compete; and I had to do it not only while I was home, but even when I got back out on Tour, in the midst of long days of travelling, training, and competing.
“Despite these challenges, I keep fighting because I believe in the player I can be, and I’m fighting for the chance to realise that.”
Still retains singles ranking
Since turning professional in 2015, Pang has had to overcome her late start as well as financial obstacles in order to claim a WTA ranking spot.
She had once worked three jobs, slept in run-down hotels and launched a crowdfunding campaign to continue playing on the circuit, which has taken her to far-flung places such as the tiny African nation of Djibouti.
She still retains her women’s singles ranking, now placed at world No. 1,275, and plans to continue raising funds to represent Singapore on the tour from 2020 to 2022.