Jul 27, 2021 Sports
GBTI Open Tennis Tournament…
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) Open tournament returned over the weekend with the action being contested in ideal weather conditions during all three-days of competition at the GBTI Diamond Tennis Courts on the East Bank, Demerara.
For the first time ever in its 12-year history, the GBTI tournament was declared open by a Sports Minister as Minister of Culture, Youth & Sport, Charles Ramson, did the honours.
The tournament was played in adherence to Covid-19 restrictions, including no spectators and the wearing Masks except when on the Court playing and included players from Guyana, England and Colombia.
Among those present at Thursday’s opening Ceremony, were Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) Kashif Mohammed, Director of Sports Steve Ninvalle and GBTI’s Senior Management Officials.
The duo of David Rose and Colombian Miguel Garcia upset number 1 seeds, Leyland Leacock and Gavin Lewis in the Men’s Open Doubles Round of 16. Rose/Garcia booked their first quarterfinals as a pair with a passionate 3/6 – 6/2 – 7/6 (7/4) victory over the top seeds. This epic battle lasted over two hours as the momentum shifted and had fellow players and officials on the edge of their seats. Leacock/Lewis raced to a quick first set, but the steady pair of Rose/Garcia displayed exceptional teamwork and net play which secured them the second set.
Big-server Garcia helped to steady the pair as they headed into the deciding set. An early break of Lewis’s serve gave Rose/Garcia the advantage to lead 5/3, but Leacock/Lewis rattled their opponents with consistency that forced errors and won three straight games to take the lead 6/5.
Garcia held his nerves during his serves to force a tiebreak. Leacock/Lewis carried a similar momentum into the tiebreak and raced to a quick 4/1 lead.
Keeping the roller coaster spirit of the match, Rose/Garcia played some clutch tennis that produced shots that narrowly caught the edges of the line. The pressure was building at 5/4 as Rose stepped up to serve.
After producing an excellent first serve which Leacock netted, his partner secured the win by placing a winning volley. An exclamation of “c’mon” by Rose summed up the intensity of the match.
Meanwhile, #2 seeds Kevin Mattai/Javed Khan defeated favourites Benjettan Osborne/Aubrey Younge 6/3 – 7/6 (7/1). Youngsters Gerald Scotland/Donnie Anderson made light work of Denzil Luthers/ Isaiah Cambridge with a 6/0 – 6-1 win to move into their first quarterfinals in the open category.
Boys Juniors Singles
Reigning Rebel Junior Tennis Tournament Champion and #2 seed, Donnie Anderson, continued his momentum with a comprehensive 6/2 – 6/1 win over Shaquel Murray. Viraj Sharma, the #1 seed had a comfortable 6/2 – 6/1 win against the young fiery Navindra Arjune as he launched his campaign for a rematch against Anderson.
Nathan DeNobrega defeated Ronaldo Alexander 6/0 – 6/1 in the round of 16, while in the quarterfinals heats, Gerald Scotland, semi-finalists at the recent Rebel Junior Tennis Tournament, battled to a 6/4 – 6/2 win over Isaiah Cambridge.
Ladies Open Singles
In a quarterfinal clash between sisters, it was the younger sibling, Renola Jordan, who emerged victorious over Norella Jordan with a 6/2 – 6/2 win. R. Jordan then advanced to her First Ladies Open finals after receiving a walkover from the #2 seed Saskia Persuad.
The experienced Kimberly Conway took a 6/2 – 6/2 against youngster Devanie Arjune. Conway was then handed a 6/2 – 6/0 loss to former Ladies GBTI Champion and #1 seed Cristy Campbell.
The youthful R. Jordan will square off against the experienced Campbell in a final that promises to be a battle of will, consistency and strategy sometime next week.
Men’s Open Singles
Veteran Harry Pandy made his return and braved the heat to outlast newcomer, Marc Smith, with a 6/3 – 6/3 victory. Young Denzel Luthers defeated GTA’s Second Vice President, Surrendra Khayyam 6/1 – 5/1 (ret.). The experienced Javed Khan bowed out of the tournament after a fierce Gerald Scotland battled after trailing 5/3 in the first set to take the set 7/5. Khan unfortunately retired due to an injury.
Coach Andre Erskine taught his young student, Isaiah Cambridge, a lesson when he dismissed him from the tournament 6/1 – 6/0.
In other Round of 16 matches, Number 2 seed, Benjettan Osborne received a walkover from Jonathon Jackson in the Round of 16, while the defending GBTI Men’s Champion and #1 seed Gavin Lewis defeated Jamal Goodluck 6/2 – 6/1.
A new face to the tennis community, Englishman Philippe Jackson, battled past the lefty Philbert Clarke 6/2 – 6/1. Donnie Anderson moved past Denzil Luthers comfortably with a 6/1 – 6/1 win. Aubrey Younge wrapped up the Round of 16 matches by taking out Harvey Stoll 6/2 – 6/1.
Men’s 35s Singles
Andre Erskine was vintage in a 6/1 – 6/0 defeat over Aubrey Younge, while Marc Smith recorded his first tournament win after Surrendra Khayyam retired 5/7 – 6/4.
Junior matches continue during the week at the GBTI Diamond facility and senior matches will be played on the upcoming weekend. (Sean Devers)
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