Due to rainfall over the past few days, the GBTI Open 2017 had two days of interrupted play. However, it did not dampen the gathering or the numerous rousing matches.
In Men’s Single Round 32 action; Veteran and last year’s men’s doubles winner, Harry Panday took a win against Dominic Fraser 6-4, 6-2. The consistency and training of Panday proved to be the key in his win. Heimraj Resaul had a strong first set against Alexey DeAlmeida but after the rain delay, DeAlmedia launched a comeback but failed to deliver the final critical blow against the junior who eventually closed the match at 6-2, 6-4.
Philbert Clarke joined Murray and Joshua Kalekyezi in the double bagels fate. Viraj Sharma surprised the gathering as he played effortlessly against Clarke.
Mark McDonald took on his doubles partner, Joseph DeJonge. The match ebbed and flowed for both contestants. McDonald was pegged as the favourite going into the match but DeJonge fought every point to acquire a match point. Nerves and tension built at the prospect of dethroning the number two junior. McDonald saved the match point and took the game in his advantage and won 5-7, 6-1, 7-5. A relived mother celebrated the victory.
In the Men’s Single Round 16; The level of competition this year at the GBTI Open has risen above previous years. The investment in this competition has aided in the quality of play and given a glimpse of what tennis can be in Guyana. Double bagels were severed up by Andre Erskine against Ronald Murray. Anthony Downes did similar by unarming Joshua Kalekyezi, 6-0, 6-0.
Benjettan Osborne was all business in his 6-1, 6-1 win against Oswin Coggins. Osborne was calm and relentless in his attack of Coggins’ game. His game was unable to answer Osborne’s laser focus.
Viraj Sharma exemplified courage in his match against Coach Leyland Leacock. He handled the pressure well and played decisive shots which gained him 5 games. Leacock turned the heat on and won 6-4, 6-1. Leacock faces Osborne in the quarterfinal of the men’s open single.
Jason Andrews booked his first GBTI singles quarterfinals after a battle of overcoming his nerves against Khawn Rodney. Rodney was anticipated to be a challenge as he had the weapons to oppose the big serves of Andrews. He broke early and maintained a steady lead but a shaky 8th game allowed Andrews to creep into the mental part of his game. Andrews closed a win at 6-4, 6-2.
Jamal Goodluck managed to take two games off Nicholas Glasgow but was not able to hold back the floodgates of errors against the fortress of Glasgow’s compact game. Glasgow won 6-0, 6-2 and sets up a rematch against the number seed, Anthony Downes. The level of his game should afford him the ability to poke some holes in the seemingly impervious game of Downes.
Men’s Double Round 16; Asif Subhan and Benjettan Osborne were eliminated 6-2, 6-1 from the men’s doubles draw by Heimraj Resaul/Jordan Beaton.
Andre Erskine/Mark McDonald delivered a 6-0, 6-0 win against Shimron Lewis/Ravin Rampersaud.
Ladies Round Robin; The budding rivalry between Cristy Campbell and Afruica Gentle was put to the test once more. Campbell was able to put up a stronger defence compared to the previous meeting but was unable to deny Gentle 6-1, 6-3. Afruica Gentle faced Kalyca Fraser and defeated her 6-1, 6-3. Fraser who had given Gentle a close fight in the Sheltez Home Safe Security Tournament was out matched by the aggression and placement of Gentle. Gentle was able to romp to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Grace McCalman by immobilizing her at the baseline.
Men’s 45s Singles Quarterfinals; Rudy Grant claimed a win 6-0, 6-3 against the Brazilian Ambassador, Lineu Pupo DePaula. Harry Panday closed out a 6-1, 6-2 against new player, Colin France.
Mixed Doubles Quarterfinals; Joshua Kalekyezi and Alana Chung fought their way to a 6-3, 6-4 win against Ariel Khan/Nathalie Ramdyhan. The four juniors were fierce in their construction of points. Ramdyhan continued to show promise with great form and strong forehands.
Daniel Lopes/Sarah Klautky had a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 against Tyrese Trim/Charlese Adams.
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