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Young Bahamian tennis teams move on to Masters event in Mexico

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: Sep 06, 2013

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The Bahamas is on its way to Mexico, thanks to the four-member team that represented the country at the inaugural International Tennis Federation (ITF)/Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF) English Caribbean Wilson 12-and-Under Central America and Caribbean Tennis Confederation (COTECC) Team Championships.

Despite finishing second in their pool, Jacobi Bain and Donte Armbrister rallied back to book a spot in the main draw of the international tournament. As for Sydney Clarke and Elana Mackey, the two were the favorites heading into play today, after producing a blemish-free record in the round-robin segment. President of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) Derron Donaldson received word late yesterday evening from captain Larikah Russell that both teams will be headed to Mexico for the Masters event. However, Donaldson was unable to confirm the match scores and countries played up to press time.

“This is a proud moment for The Bahamas and tennis in the country,” said Donaldson. “To have our team excel at such high levels speaks volumes for the program. This is a new initiative put in place by the international governing body for the sport. I am pleased to know that we were able to send a squad off and have them compete and move on. This is remarkable, an incredible job by all the players and the captain.”

The girls’ squad captured their pool with a perfect win/loss record and were the front-runners for clinching a spot in the Masters event. As for the boys, they had to play their way through the rounds after losing the opening tie to St. Lucia. They were able to bounce back, winning the ties on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Bain played and defeated Serge Calor, 6-3 and 6-0, and Armbrister played Abiel Cheung, winning 6-1 and 6-2. Both of their opponents represented Suriname. Later that day, the girls picked up a 3-0 win over Guyana, with Clarke defeating Kaylca Fraser, 4-6, 6-4 and 10-8. Mackey’s win was over Africa Gentle, 6-0 and 6-1. The doubles team of Clarke and Mackey won, 6-7(4), 6-4 and 10-8.

The opening match against St. Lucia, the boys fell 2-1. Bain was defeated, 6-3 and 7-6(3), and Armbrister won, 6-0 and 7-5. In doubles, St. Lucia won, 6-3 and 6-4. The girls also played St. Lucia in their opener, winning 3-0. Clarke won, 6-1 and 6-0, and Mackey captured her match, 6-1 and 6-0.

The Masters event is for the top three teams in the English-speaking Caribbean, and the Central American region.

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