Almost 10,000 miles away from his homeland of Singapore, there is one thing that reminds sophomore Sylvester Wee of home: tennis.
The story of Wee’s tennis career goes back to his early teenage years and takes quite a few turns.
He started playing tennis late at the age of 13 and fell in love with the game.
Wee worked hard at the game and finally really got the hang of it at the age of 16, when he began to get national acclaim. At 17, he attained a ranking of 216 overall in the International Tennis Federation circuit while playing for his high school, Raffles Junior College. Needless to say, he picked up the game quickly.
“Most of my time in high school was spent on academics, but I enjoyed playing in tournaments across Asia,” Wee said. “I played in New Zealand, Japan, China, Thailand and many other countries. You can say I traveled a lot.”
Wee spent two years at the Raffles Institution followed by the Raffles Junior College, where he spent four years. These schools are part of the G20 group of private high schools with great academic and athletic honors internationally. College was the logical next step.
By the time Wee reached 18, he had played in many international tournaments across the Asian continent. He represented Singapore in the Davis Cup, a major tennis tournament.
His athletic achievements were great up to that point, but what came next shaped his life in more ways than anyone can imagine.
After high school, Wee’s life took a different turn — he joined the Singapore military at the age of 18.
“I did not pick up a racket for two years,” Wee said. “I did not play those two years at all.”
After completing his two years of service, Wee chose to continue his education away from home. On a scholarship from the Singapore government, Wee decided to attend Penn on the promise that one day he will return to his homeland to apply the skills he learned during his time overseas.
To reconnect with his days as a junior tennis star, Wee decided to try out for the tennis team here at Penn.
“I decided to join the team as more of a passion and to have a great experience,” Wee explained.
Since joining the team as a freshman, Wee has found himself quite a career at Penn, winning 13 combined singles and doubles matches.
Wee has spent more time this year on the doubles circuit than as a singles player. He notched his first win of 2013 with his teammate Vim De Alwis in the third doubles match against Buffalo’s third doubles team of Pablo Alvarez and Vusa Hove.
While Wee naturally plays to win the game, he first and foremost plays to keep hold of successful memories and just have fun on the court.
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