Competitive battles kicks off lawn tennis tournament…….

The 8th edition of the GBTI Open served off last week Friday and marked the peak of competition season on the Guyana Tennis Association’s (GLTA’s) calendar. The tennis community gathered to view, chat and catch in a pleasant environment.

Men’s Round 32

Daniel Lopes, while on vacation from college could not resist the opportunity of playing in the biggest tournament on the GLTA’s season, GBTI Open. He squared off against Jordan Beaton, who started strong and had occasions to take the first set but failed to fend off the 6-4, 6-3 defeat.

Joshua Kalekyezi defeated Surendra Khayyam 6-0, 6-2 while President, Jamal Goodluck defeated Adesh Khayyam 6-0, 7-5. Ronald Murray seeks to topple the seeded players and make his way to Anthony Downes but he first defeated Alexandre De Almedia 6-1, 6-1 and sets up a clash against Andre Erksine who will be a test on the road to the semi-final. Erskine looked lethal in his 6-0, 6-0 defeat of Khalid Gobin.

Rorima club mates Oswin Coggins and Devon Gonsalves showed down in a tight match. It was to the astonishment of spectators the level of growth Gonsalves had made since his GBTI novice debut last year. He tussled with Coggins and displayed exceptional touch at the net but was unable to stay focus at the critical point allowing Coggins to impress his style of play and eventually closing with a 6-3, 7-6(7/3) win.

Khawn Rodney had his challenge against the household name Rudy Grant. It was the joy of the tennis family to see the effort and love for the game displayed by Grant. Knees strapped and passion untamed as he pushed physically against the hard hitting forehand of young Rodney.  Grant deployed his tactical launch of drop shots an lobs that flustered Rodney in a few games but Rodney was able to shake the nerves off and secure the win at 6-4,6-4

Kalyca Fraser, who has been one to watch, defeated former President, Grace McCalman 6-2, 6-1.

Saturday night primetime had epic matches that lasted until midnight. All eyes were focused on Nicholas Glasgow vs. Sandeep Chand and Alexey Almedia vs. Albert Razick matches. Glasgow showed confident from the strike of the first point against a fearless Chand. He was able to pull off a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win because he was able to utilize his weapons of a big forehand, low slices and consistent play which led to a variety of shots. While Chand was able to lift his game in the second set, he was unable to propel that moment in the third.

Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Brazilian Almedia and American Razick had a match of class, sportsmanship and quality tennis that lasted over three hours and thirsty minutes. The senior players made full use of the court strategically and were examples of mental toughness. However, Almedia was able to get the upper hand to defeat Razick 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. Almedia in an invited comment stated that the match, “In one word: challenging. Because playing over 45, besides the game itself, we face our own body limitations and, I believe, Al and I were facing a new opponent, playing in a new court surface (my case) with a very high humidity with no breeze at all. Now if you mean psychological aspects, I can say that Al is a very good player and every single point was very important mentally for the result of the match. I was playing for every single point instead of thinking about the match itself. Al was a gentleman and a very respectful opponent. I hope we can have more players like him. Tennis is about friendship and respect.”

In the Boys round 32, Dominic Skeete defeated young Buxtonian, Tyrese Trim 6-2, 6-4 after meeting twice in less than a month. While on the girls’ side, Kalyca Fraser marches in the semi-final after handling the upcoming junior, Sekai Jones. Alana Chung made her way pass Charlese Adams 6-1, 6-1. Sarah Klautky confidently dismissed Margaret Subryan 6-0, 6-0. Nathalie Ramdyhan looked sharped against her best friend, Ciara Pooran as she also booked a semi-final spot at 6-4, 6-4.

Matches continue at the GBTI Recreational Facility, Bel Air all week from 5 pm.