Men’s and Ladies finals on today
Local fans should be in for a treat when the finals of the Men’s and Ladies Singles are played today in the Banks DIH Masters Invitational Tennis Tournament, at the Pegasus Hotel Hardcourts.
Bitter rivals Carol Humphrey and Shelly Daly-Ramdyhan will square off in the Ladies final, while current Men’s national champion Phillip Squires, who recently captured his fifth title, attempts to turn back the challenge of an upcoming rising star Ezra Sue-Ho, whom he easily defeated in the final of the national tournament.
The Ladies affair should provide all the excitement for the fans and could also put to rest the dispute as to who is the best female player locally.
Humphrey, who is the current national champion, won the title in the absence of Daly-Ramdyhan so she would be looking to prove that even though her triumph in the national final was against junior champion Shawna Gentle, she still has the game to beat the former national title holder.
Daly-Ramdyhan on the other hand will obviously be seeking to prove that it was because of her unavoidable absence that allowed Humphrey to become the national champion.
The two rivalry dates back to several years and has always been a closely fought affair with Daly-Ramdyhan holding the edge in head –to- head match-ups.
However, Humphrey has shown remarkable improvement over the past two months and judging from her crushing performances against Gentle in the Pegasus Open and her first round clash against Aruna Ramrattan in this tournament, she could prove a difficult proposition for Daly-Ramdyhan.
Daly-Ramdyhan has not played any competitive tennis for the year and it showed in her match against Gentle which was a closely fought three-setter, but that does not eliminate her chances since she could call on her vast experience to pull through.
It should be an interesting and crown pleasing duel.
In the other final, Squires has dominated the local scene for many years and even though he himself has not had much tournament play this year, his comfortable win in the Pegasus Open final against the same opponent makes him the favourite.
Sue-Ho, who was a promising junior player, has now moved up to the senior ranks with measured success since, but is still to clear the Squires hurdle, something that no player locally has been able to do so far.
Many feel that he is the most likely successor to Squires’ throne, but until that is realised, his task remains a daunting one.
A player packing a powerful serve and lethal forehand ground-strokes, Sue-Ho best chance is to keep his composure even if he is trailing and to ensure that his booming first serves is delivered at a high percentage. Squires is known for his calm and collective demeanour and many opponents have found out that it is not easy to rattle him and take him out of his zone. His most feared weapons are his heavy top spin lobs which pins his opponents to the baseline, allowing him to utilise a deadly forehand down the line.
This contest is by no means a done deal, but Squires has to be the heavy favourite. Starting time is 16:00 hrs.