Leyland Leacock and Godfrey Lowden fashioned similar victories as they took the titles in the Men’s Over 35 and Over 45 categories respectively in straight sets in action of the GBTI Open Tennis tournament.
Leacock’s win over his older opponent Andre Lopes was, however, a much closer affair as the players both displayed grit in trying to outlast each other in lengthy rallies instead of pushing for outright winners as both are capable of. The first set went to a tiebreak where Lopes committed several costly forehand errors which allowed Leacock to win 7-3. Leacock served consistently and though surprised by the occasional winner from Lopes was able to win the title in straight sets 7-6(7/3) 6-4. Both players are in line to capture two medals as they are competing in Doubles finals as well.
In the Men’s 45 Finals, Alexley Almeida’s streak of coming back from a set down was halted by Berbician Godfrey Lowden who completed a straight sets win, but not without some drama at the end. In the first set Lowden, who likes a fast paced game, steamrolled Almeida 6-1, who tried to match his opponent unsuccessfully. In the second set, Almeida threatened to make it a 3 set affair yet again as he slowed the pace and took the set to a tie-break. Leading 8-7 with set point, he suffered a dubious call and lost composure and the set eventually at 11-9. It was a deserving win for Lowden who has been a stalwart over the years and still has the game and fitness to take on all players.
In the Boys 18 category, the expected showdown between top players Heimraj Resaul and Jordan Beaton did not materialize after Resaul had to forfeit due to an injury he picked up. Jordan, who benefited from the walk-over, took full advantage of the opportunity of being in the final and completed a 6-2 6-1 win to take home the title over Joshua Kalekyezi, who was also debuting in the 18’s final.
Kalekyezi who is only 14 years old and stands over 6 feet, originally lived in Uganda and he is expected to be a top player in the junior ranks for years to come. His tennis has come on significantly over the last year as he is already challenging his older counterparts with his attractive and solid game.
In the Girl’s 18, top seed Kalyca Fraser proved to be too good for Sarah Klautky, who she defeated in straight sets 6-1 6-1. Fraser is one of several promising junior girls players such as Klautky, Alana Chung, Nathalie Ramdyhan, Ciara Pooran and Afruica Gentle who have all held their own in the tournament over the past two weeks.
Fraser had wins over Sekai Jones and Alana Chung in the earlier rounds, whilst Klautky took care of Margaret Subryan in the first round and edged Nathalie Ramdyhan in the semi-finals.
In Men’s 35 Doubles action, Andre Lopes/Sandeep Chand all but clinched the title with their third victory in the round robin format when they overcame the first time pairing of veterans Godfrey Lowden/Ronald Murray 6-1 6-3. Lopes/Chand played their best match of the tournament with consistent serving and strong net play and never allowed Lowden/Murray to gain any momentum.
In other matches played, Afruica Gentle/Christy Campbell booked a place in the Ladies Doubles finals with a comfortable 6-1 6-0 victory over Kalyca Fraser/Sarah Klautky and was down to face Shelly Ramdyhan/Fiona Bushell last evening. Also scheduled for yesterday was the Men’s Open Doubles final which promised an exciting affair featuring Anthony Downes/Jason Andrews against Daniel Lopes/Leyland Leacock.
Matches continue until today when the tournament will culminate with the Men’s Final which pits top seed and favorite Anthony Downes against Daniel Lopes in a rematch of last year’s finals. Presentation of prizes will follow.
Sep 18, 2018Story and photos by Zaheer Mohamed A well complied century by wicket-keeper batsman Kemol Savory backed up by a decent bowling performance handed last year’s finalist Essequibo a 90-run victory...
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