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|Downes, Humphrey clinch GBTI Open Singles titles|
|Tuesday, 31 July 2012 21:29|
THE Men’s Open final of this year’s Guyana Lawn Tennis Association-organised, Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI)-sponsored Open Tennis tournament between Anthony Downes and Jeremy Miller lived up to the hype as
both players pushed each other to the limit at the GBTI Courts in Bel Air Park last Sunday.
The match, which was played before a packed crowd, had an electronic scoring system for the first time and fans who gathered at the venue, saw Downes clock 21 winners to Miller’s 12 as the two went head to head in their two-hour long battle over two sets.
Miller, who had been on the losing end of the last three major tournaments, started off well and broke Downes to secure a 5-4 lead and a chance to serve for the set, but Downes saved his best tennis for the final and pounded groundstrokes especially off the forehand to even up the set at 5.
There was no turning back for Downes from that point as he took the set 7-5 and took the momentum into the second where he established a 4-0 lead over Miller who fought valiantly to stay alive.
Downes started off the first game with an ace followed by a forehand winner and held easily, before Miller’s service game lasted for 15 minutes, as he saved break point after break point as Downes put him under pressure.
A number of unforced errors also contributed to Miller’s woes when he could have closed off the game, with Downes hitting some big forehands, which had Miller on the run and despite staying close in the games, Miller quickly went down 0-4 before he was able to secure one break on Downes’ serve.
Miller put immense pressure on himself as he missed on his first serve as well as tossing in 12 double-faults during the course of the match, before he dug deep to stage a mini recovery, hitting some inside out forehands deep to Downes backhand and ran down numerous shots by his opponent.
One such play was a memorable point where he returned an overhead smash and then followed it up with a sliced winner, but Downes’ serve and volley at 5-3 made the difference in the game, as he closed out the second set 6-3, to take his second consecutive GBTI Men’s title.
Earlier, Berbice’s Carol Humphrey despite being injured and having to retire a night earlier in the Mixed Doubles final, showed grit and determination in capturing the Ladies’ Open title from top seed, Shawna Gentle, who was also battling with her own ailments.
The veteran, Humphrey played well and took out a sub-par Gentle 6-1 in the first set and was on course for an equally dominant second set with the score 3-1 when Gentle retired.
Other titles decided over the weekend included wins for Steve David Longe, who won the Men’s Over-35 Singles title when he mounted an amazing comeback against Mario Niamatalli in their super tie-break decider.
With one set apiece, Niamatalli raced ahead to an 8-3 lead before Longe won 6 straight points under immense pressure as he held his nerve and capitalised to complete the win 11-9 and capture the title for the first time.
The Mixed Doubles title went to the pair of Downes and Rebecca Mitchell, who had to battle from a set down to defeat Godfrey Lowden and Humphrey after the later retired in the third set with the match tied at one set apiece, in favour of Downes and Mitchell.
The respective finals were witnessed by GBTI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Tracey and president of the GTA Ramesh Seebarran among other officials, with the presentation ceremony following shortly after.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 21:31|
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