Once again Anthony Downes proved that he is one of the best players to come out of Guyana by notching his 7th consecutive GBTI Men’s Open title with a dominating win over Daniel Lopes in straight sets.
The result was a repeat of last year’s finals which had a similar scoreline. Lopes had teamed up with Leyland Leacock the night before to upset Downes and Jason Andrews in the Men’s Doubles and revenge would have certainly been on Downes’ mind as he wrapped up the match is less than one hour dropping just one game.
Downes has been prominent on the local scene, participating in his first Men’s singles final when he was 14-years-old and has battled with other top players such as Phillip Squires and Jeremy Miller over the years.
It would be interesting to see how he would have matched up against other former players to come out of Guyana such as Andy Wong, Marvin Jeffrey, Diwani Lewis and Marvin Hinds who all had dominant stints locally.
Downes whose game stands above his peers locally has had the opportunity to train periodically with former world rated player Jack Brassington and an exhibition match is being planned for local enthusiasts later in the year.
Now at age 25, Downes is hoping to hone his skills and further his tennis career through playing future tournaments internationally and may play his first such tournament this August in Colombia.
Other outstanding performers in the tournament were 16-year-old Ladies Champion Afruica Gentle who once again carted off the three open titles, Ladies Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
Leyland Leacock who won the Men’s 35 Singles and Men’s Open Doubles title, Godfrey Lowden with the Men’s 45 Singles and Doubles title and 35 Doubles runner-up and Andre Lopes who won the Men’s 35 doubles and was runner-up in the Men’s 35 Singles.
Daniel Lopes also medalled twice taking the runner-up position in the Men’s singles and winning the Men’s Doubles title.
In the Junior categories, Jordan Beaton was the winner of the Boy’s Singles title, whilst Kalyca Fraser won the Girl’s Singles. There was also a win for newcomer Delon Fraser who edged Surendra Khayyam to win the Developmental Novice Medley category.
The presentation ceremony which immediately followed the final match was attended by CEO (ag) of GBTI Ms. Shaleeza Shaw and Marketing Manager Pamela Binda. Ms Shaw stressed the importance of their partnership with the Guyana Tennis Association which was renewed some 8 years ago and commended the association for the progress shown with developing the sport locally which sees opportunities being given to youths to spend their time productively and develop their skills.
She touched on the pride experienced seeing Guyana’s participation in the recent games in Azerbaijan where the Guyana flag was flown proudly by the team and challenged tennis players to reach similar heights of representing Guyana internationally.
Ms. Shaw expressed GBTI’s commitment to tennis and indicated that the Bank will provide its facilities for the hosting of the Inter-Guiana Games later this year.
In his remarks, President of the GTA, Mr. Jamal Goodluck commended the tennis fraternity for coming together in making the tournament a success which saw 122 matches played over two weeks but bemoaned the fact that there were still instances of unsportsmanlike behavior cropping up which needs to be corrected.
Mr. Goodluck also thanked the Bank for its unstinting support to tennis which has been operating without a home and enough courts to really kick start the growth of tennis locally.
The bank has been a major partner of tennis with some former CEO’s the likes of Maggie Da Silva and John Tracey who were ardent tennis players. In terms of future developments, he outlined that the association is working closely with the relevant Ministry in developing a multi-court facility with lights which can finally solve the issue of lack of enough resources being available for players to hone their skills and to host international tournaments.
Following is the full list of Prize Winners:
Men’s Open Singles: Winner – Anthony Downes, Runner Up – Daniel Lopes
Ladies Open Singles: Winner – Afruica Gentle, Runner up – Kalyca Fraser
Boys Singles: Winner – Jordan Beaton, Runner up – Joshua Kalekyezi
Girls Singles: Winner – Kalyca Fraser, Runner up – Sarah Klautky
Men’s 35 Singles: Winner – Leyland Leacock, Runner up – Andre Lopes
Men’s 45 Singles: Winner – Godfrey Lowden, Runner up – Alexley Almeida
Novices Medley Singles: Winner – Delon Fraser, Runner up – Surendra Khayyam
Men’s Doubles: Winners – Daniel Lopes/Leyland Leacock, Runners up – Anthony Downes/Jason Andrews
Ladies Doubles: Winners – Afruica Gentle/Cristy Campbell, Runners up – Shelly Ramdyhan/Fiona Bushell
Mixed Doubles: Winners – Anthony Downes/Afruica Gentle, Runners-up – Daniel Lopes/Sarah Klautky
Men’s 35 Doubles: Winners – Andre Lopes/Sandeep Chand, Runners up – Godfrey Lowden/Ronald Murray
Men’s 45 Doubles: Winners – Godfrey Lowden/Omar Persaud, Runners up – Albert Razick/Steve Surujbally.
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