Tennis team continuing preparations for World Juniors
- Players more confident this time
By Rawle Welch
Kaieteur Sport caught up with the five members of the Guyana national Tennis team currently preparing to compete in the ITF World Junior Tennis Championships preliminaries which is to be held in Trinidad from March 29th – April 3rd 2010, at the Eddie Taylor Tennis Courts.
The players selected are: Daniel Lopes, Gavin Lewis, Nicola Ramdyhan, Aretta Dey and Khalif Gobin.
We spoke to them of their preparations; here are some of their comments:
Daniel Lopes- The preparations have been a bit tough, we’ve been through it for the past 9 weeks, but now most of us have gotten accustom to the rigorous training and we’ve settled down nicely.
I feel that I have to improve a bit more on my backhand and that is what Coach Shelly has been working on with me.
In terms of the standard, it is pretty high, but I still expect us to do well, especially since most of the players are from the Caribbean and we’ve played against them in the past so I know their style very well.
I think that the team is a strong one and we are going to do well.
Even though Guyana do not participate in many competitions, most of us have attended the Coca-Cola tournament in St. Lucia and ITF sanctioned Under-13 tournaments before so we have some amount of experience playing at this level.
Gavin Lewis- My preparations have gone very good and even though it has been tough at times, I can safely say that I’ve learnt a lot during the period.
Some of the things I’ve learnt is how not to lose my focus, how to keep my composure even after a bad call and strengthening the mental aspects of my game.
We’ve also done a lot on improving my serve and it has gotten better which has made me a more confident player now.
As Daniel had stated earlier, we’ve basically attended the same tournaments so that will obviously give us a little more boost in our confidence heading to the tournament.
I would say that I’m mentally more prepared this time than in previous tournaments and this might be due to my experience playing at the regional level, while my game overall has improved.
The team I think is a strong one and I say this because we’ve had to engage each other in playoffs which has made us mentally and physically well prepared.
I would rate our chances as good to gain positive results.
Nicola Ramdyhan- Yes, the preparations was a bit tough at the start, but now I’m more relaxed and focused.
The Coach did a lot of work on my backhand to improve it and I can say that I’m hitting the ball much better now and more confident getting into the stroke whether it is a backhand down the line or crosscourt.
I previously participated in the Coca-Cola U-13 Tournament in Trinidad and Tobago where I won the U-12 category.
I expect to be the #1 right now and I’m extremely confident that I will be returning home with the big trophy.
Aretta Dey- Preparations have been going well so far. At the beginning I struggle a bit, but now I’m quite comfortable and improving every day.
We’ve done a lot of work on my serves; footwork and when to hit the right shots and strengthening those have made me a more confident player.
I think that I’ve really benefited from the coaching stint under the guidance of Coach Shelly and it should serve me well during the course of the tournament.
My service and backhand are much better than before and those improvements have made me more confident and determined to do well.
Khalif Gobin- I’ve been working hard and trying to do all that the Coach has instructed me to do.
I’ve had to work extensively on my service and backhand and I can say with assurance they’ve both improved immensely.
I’m hoping that by the time we are ready to depart they will almost be perfect.
I think that everyone will do their best and hopefully we can make ourselves and Guyana proud.