Jun 14, 2017 Sports
A total of twenty three matches were played over the last weekend at the GBTI Recreational
Center in Bel Air Park as the annual tennis tournament eased into the second week of action. The event showcases the cream of the crop of Guyana’s tennis fraternity as it attracts players from 12 different categories, from the pint sized 10year olds now cutting their teeth on competition to the grizzled veterans who have been competing against each other since the 1980s. Throw in the players who compete regularly at club level and the visiting diplomats from Brazil, India, Russia and the US and you have a truly diverse event which sees fierce competition as well as good camaraderie being displayed.
Players such as singer Rudy Grant, former Gecom Commissioner Steve Surujbally, businessman Harry Panday and Berbician Godfrey Lowden are all competing in the tournament keeping alive the years they have been involved in tennis competition and the ongoing rivalries with each other. Other veterans such as Andre Lopes, Sanjeev Datadin and Shelly Ramdyhan easily top over 25 years of playing tennis.
The talent of the new generation was on full display over the weekend with the ultra-passionate 11-year-old Vedanand Resaul taking on his equally competitive junior Nigel Lowe in the Quarterfinal of the Boys Singles. This was a highlight match on Saturday as they took each other to three close sets before Lowe prevailed by two points in the deciding super tiebreak. The peace of the atmosphere was constantly disrupted by shouts of “C’MON” which could have easily been mistaken as coming from grown men instead of youths barely touching 5 feet in height. Final score line to Nigel Lowe 6-7 (8), 6-4, 10-8.
In the Girls quarterfinal doubles, a grueling three hour match was played between teenagers Ciara Poora, Kalyca Fraser, Margaret Subryan and Nathalie Ramdyhan. Ciara Pooran/Kalyca Fraser eventually prevailed 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 after dropping the second set 6-3 in the match, which left all the players drained and exhausted.
In the rivalry between the top two junior Boys competing in the round 16 of the men’s singles, a high level of tennis was displayed by Heimraj Resaul and Mark McDonald who demonstrated good consistency with their groundstrokes and matched each other stroke for stroke before Resaul pulled off the 6-2, 6-2 win, which was much more competitive than the score line reflected. Both players have represented Guyana competitively in International junior tournaments and their games have progressed significantly with the added exposure. Resaul takes on Andre Erskine in a bid to make it to his first GBTI semi-final.
The match of the evening was between second seed Leyland Leacock, who is a former finalist in the Men’s Open, and Benjetton Osborne, whose game has improved considerably over the years. Both players are known for long rallies and the match was a back and forth affair with each winning a set apiece with decisive scorelines. Osborne took the first 6-1 before Leacock turned the tide by volleying authoritatively in the second set which he won 6-2. In the opening of the third set, a pumped up Osborne delivered a down the line running forehand winner which signaled a new state of mind. He trumped his tiring opponent 6-0 as he hit a number of groundstroke winners to take the match and to progress to meet Daniel Lopes in the semi-finals.
There were also good wins for Jordan Beaton who outlasted Brazilian Alexandre DeAlmeida 6-4 6-1, Joshua Kalekyezi 6-1, 6-0 over Shimron Lewis, Viraj Sharma over Vijay Sharma 6-2 6-2 , Daniel Lopes 6-1, 6-2 over Harry Panday; Rudy Grant had a 6-2, 6-1 win in the Over 35 Men’s singles over Surendra Khayam and Sandeep Chand /Andre Lopes progressed over Sanjeev Datadin and Steve Surujbally easily in doubles action.
The tournament continues daily from 5:00pm as matches move into the quarter and semi-finals stages.
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