Menlo News October 15, 2023

Hsia ’25 nets Golden Match, wins 48 points in a row

Junior Kate Hsia does not drop a point in a singles win

Menlo’s legendary coach Bill Shine has been around tennis for over 60 years; his teams have won 27 Central Coast Section titles and 24 NorCal Championships, so it’s safe to say he’s seen it all.
Not quite.
In Menlo’s recent win, Knights junior Kate Hsia recorded a Golden Match, did not drop a point throughout the match, winning 48 consecutive points.
Shine said he’s never known a player to complete the feat - one pro player who had a Golden Set and 24 consecutive points, but never an entire match.
“I thought I had seen it all until today,” Shine said. “I still can’t believe it. What Kate did was remarkable.”
Hsia said it was around the fourth game in the first set when she realized she might win every point … of that set. The team has been reading “Zen Tennis” by Bill Scanlon who himself had landed a golden set, winning 24 points in a row, in 1983 and a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. The team meets Wednesdays after lift with mental-game and assistant golf coach Francis Santora. Hsia loved how her tennis was playing out with what she was reading.
“After I got the golden set, I was really happy and wasn’t thinking too much about winning every point in the second set. It was only when it was 5-0 in the second set that I realized that I might win every point,” Hsia said.

There are a couple of golden matches on record at the pro level, but to attain one, you need to play a flawless game yourself - no double faults, no ripped forehand just a half-inch off and no missing a return that careens oddly off the frame of your opponent’s racket. But for 30 minutes, Hsia did not make an error.

“When I was serving for the match, I could feel myself tense up, since I had already won 44 points in a row and only needed four more points to get the golden match,” Hsia said. “Throughout the whole match, I had been making most of my first serves, but in that game, I hit more second serves than I had the entire rest of the match. Every time I hit a second serve, I was a little nervous, not because I didn’t want to lose the match but because I wanted to keep the point-winning streak going.

“Once the match was over, I was a little in shock, but I was also very happy and a little relieved that I didn’t double-fault a point away, since I rarely played a match without double-faulting at least once!” Hsia said.

The Knights went on to a sweep and Menlo heads into the coming week with a 6-0 in West Bay Athletic League play and 13-6 overall.

“I’m so proud of everyone, and it’s clear we’re improving every day,” said Hsia, who is a co-captain with Izzy Klugman. “I feel that after the San Diego tournament, everyone gained more confidence. Additionally, the level of cheering and spirit on and off the courts has improved so much. This has helped us perform well, even in high pressure situations. I’m really excited to see what the rest of the season has in store for us, and I know we’re going to keep getting better and better every day.”