A few curious spectators gathered to watch the anticipated nailbiting final between the mother daughter combination, Shelly Daly-Ramdyhan and Nicola Ramdyhan and the top seeded ladies doubles pair, Cristy Campbell and Afruica Gentle. They played neck and neck in the most intense ladies doubles of the year.
Campbell with her calm demeanor and consistent loopy strokes was backed by Gentle’s furious groundstrokes. The first set had a dash of drama, ups and downs for both teams. Campbell/Gentle saw an opportunity while serving 6/5 in the first set but the Ramdyhans were not going to let the match slip out of their reach. They battled to break Campbell’s serve and throw the set into a tiebreaker. But it was the Campbell/Gentle duo who stormed through the tiebreaker with a 7-1 win and first set in hand, leaving spectators shocked and at the edge of their seats.
The second set provided more rewarding tennis. An under the weather Campbell and the visibly pained mother and coach Ramdyhan, threw caution to the wind in an effort to secure the title. With a quick race to a 4/2 lead, it was clear that the momentum of the match was on Gentle/Campbell’s side. It was clear that slow pace of Campbell’s carefully placed high balls were intended to throw off the Ramdyhans. However, the experienced Ramdyhans etched their way back with their signature big serves and skillful touch volleys to tie the set at 4 games apiece.
In a gruelling game that racked up 3 deuces and two game points to the Ramdyhans, the set was either team’s to grab. But focus and tenacity heralded Gentle/Campbell with the success of a 5/4 lead. The Ramdyhans’ service game now held the last line of defence in the team’s chance to stay in the match. But, the prospect of a win came as Gentle/Campbell earned 2 match points. One match point saved, but the next point, an acute cross court angle generated by Campbell, pushed Nicola off court to set Gentle up for an easy winner.
Elation flooded Gentle/Campbell’s faces as they now stand undefeated for the season and claimed the spot on the pinnacle of local women’s doubles. In the stand, the proud mother and father watched their young daughter (Gentle) celebrating another moment of joy. In an invited comment, Campbell stated, “Winning always feels good whether it’s a big win or not. We’ve had a jittery start due to lack of communication, nevertheless my partner and I got momentum going and maintained composure at crucial points. Thankfully we came out on the winning side. Altogether it was a grueling match.”
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