SINGAPORE - He was still locked in battle when his four teammates had sewn up the boys' C Division tennis title for Raffles Institution.
But as team captain, Ashton Tan wasn't prepared to sit back and take it easy against his opponent.
Despite losing the first set 4-6, the Year 2 student recovered to win the remaining sets 7-5, 6-3 in an epic encounter lasting more than two hours.
The result gave RI an emphatic 5-0 victory over the Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) in April. It was also typical of Ashton's leadership style.
"I was most fired up during the last set because everyone else had won by the time I finished my second set and I really wanted to help the team win 5-0," said the 14-yearold, who is a fan of Swiss master Roger Federer.
"As the captain, I have to be a role model for the team. For example, when I feel tired during physical training, I push myself on so that when the others look at me, they will also want do the same.
"Even though we had won, I still felt that I had to get a result for the team."
While tennis is his first love - he saw his cousin playing when he was eight and caught the bug - Ashton is also an accomplished runner.
After being spotted by a teacher during RI's inter-house cross-country competition last year, Ashton, who loves running, agreed to join the school team.