Strong support from both camps
LOYAL FANS: Nadhir Kadir (left) and his friends, who back Serena Williams, have been attending the event from morning till night.
LONG TREK: A group of more than 20 fans of Simona Halep travelled from Romania to cheer her on in Singapore. - TNP PHOTOS: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Almost every weekend, Nadhir Kadir and his buddies would indulge in football with the SportCares Foundation's Saturday Night Lights programme.
The past week, however, the 15-year-old and his friends have been captivated by a whole new ball game: Tennis.
They have been religiously attending the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
They even made placards for world No. 1 and defending champion Serena Williams, which read: "Go Queen Serena", and they didn't go unnoticed by the American.
"We have been supporting her since Day One of the competition, and we have been here from nine or 10 in the morning till night," said Nadhir.
"We admire her fighting spirit - she didn't give up in the semi-final even though she lost her temper."
His idol did not disappoint last night, as the 33-year-old Williams walloped Romania's Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0 to win the US$6 million ($8.3m) season-ending tournament.
It was a different story for fans from the opposite camp.
Samara Stere and his group of more than 20 friends had travelled from Romania to Singapore to support Halep.
All week, the group wore white shirts with supportive messages for the French Open finalist and had been armed with their national flag and banners bearing their heroine's name.
Before the game, Stere was confident that Halep would triumph in the final, after the 23-year-old had beaten Williams 6-0, 6-2 earlier in the tournament.
It was not to be, but Stere said: "Serena cannot play on forever; she is already 33 while Simona is only 23.
"I have no doubt that Simona will eventually go on to become the world No. 1."