Bahamian duo wins doubles title in Plantation
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: May 14, 2013
The doubles title from the Plantation grade four tournament was added to the career achievements of young junior tennis players Justin Roberts and Kevin Major Jr., this past weekend.
The Bahamian duo defeated Lamar Remy and Alejandro Tabilo, a Canadian and American pair, 6-4, 3-6 (10-7), to win the Boys 18s title. In the opening round, Roberts and Major Jr. played Kyle Mauntner and Nicholai Westergaard of the United States of America (USA). The Bahamian duo sent their opponents packing, winning 6-1 and 6-2.
Next up for Major Jr. and Roberts were Martin Beran and Jesse Flores, of Canada. The seventh seeded Roberts and Major Jr. prevailed, 6-3, 3-6 (10-5). In the third round, Roberts and Major Jr. went up against the number one seeded team of Ryotaro Matsumura and Zhicheng Zhu. At the end of the tough match, Roberts and Major Jr. came out victorious, 4-6, 6-4 (10-5). Tommy Paul and Aron Pierce of the USA were the Bahamians’ semi-final opponents, and Roberts and Major Jr. won, 6-2, 4-6 (10-6).
Over in singles, Roberts fell in the first round to American Jake Devine, 6-0 and 7-5. American Kyle Mauntner defeated Rasheed Carey in the opening round, 6-2, 3-6 and 6-3, while Shaquille Taylor was one of two Bahamians to advance to the second round. Taylor played American Ajdin Tahirovic, winning 6-4 and 6-4. Up next for Taylor was Harrison O’Keefe who defeated him 6-0 and 6-4. Major Jr. eliminated Kian McLean in the first round, 6-3 and 6-3, before moving on to play Chase Colton. He got the best of Colton as well, winning 6-3 and 6-0, before falling to Alex Rybakov, 6-1 and 7-5. Josh Silverston defeated Bahamian Philip Major Jr., 6-2 and 6-1.
Taylor, Roberts and both of the Majors are getting set to play in the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Delray Beach Tournament. Danielle Thompson will join the quartet at the grade four event, in Delray Beach, Florida. President of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) Derron Donaldson congratulated Roberts and Major Jr. on their win, wishing them success in this week's tournament.
"Our junior players continue to excel and perform well in all tournaments they play in," said Donaldson. "They are true ambassadors, having represented the country at all levels and very well. The win this week is just another positive sign for them and tennis in the country. The future is bright and their path to success is starting to become clear. A development officer from the ITF was in town and he spoke about how bright our future is. He was able to work with some of our players here, and in Freeport. One major thing he pointed out was the fact that Freeport needs a facility to train and develop young players. We are now looking at the squash club over there as well as building on the property that belongs to the association. We have several options, and they all look good."
According to Donaldson, the international governing body for the sport, the ITF, offers a grant for development called the grand slam. He said the BLTA will look to that body for assistance.