J'can Fletcher cops women's tennis title

...Haitian Sajour outclasses J’can Johnson for men’s crown

Gerald Reid

Thursday, August 23, 2012    

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OLIVER Sajour of Haiti rallied strongly from a set down to defeat Jamaica's Damion Johnson to capture the men's singles title in the final of the 2012 Hi-Pro Supercentre Open Tennis Championships that ended at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston last Sunday night.

Sajour, the top seed in the men's singles, came from a set down to beat third-seeded Damion Johnson 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, in a match lasting one hour and 45 minutes. The game produced powerful serves, good strokes, strong returns and hard-running from both players.

The Haitian fought back brilliantly after Johnson had won the first set quite comfortably, but he took command of the second and third sets, respectively, for the win.

In the first set, both players deuced three times before Johnson held serve to take a 1-0 lead in the first game. The Jamaican broke Sajour in the next game after deucing twice to lead 2-0.

Johnson and Sajour hit passing shots against each other playing at the baseline, but it was the Jamaica who held serve in the third game as the Haitian shot went wide to give him a 3-0 lead.

Sajour managed to gain his first game after deucing twice in the fourth game and won, but still trailed 3-1. Johnson quickly wrapped up the fifth game with an ace that the top seed saw flashed past his racquet as the local increased his lead to 4-1.

Both players produced powerful serves against each other along with long rallies from baseline shots with Sajour winning the sixth game to close at 2-4. Johnson won the seventh with an ace to lead 5-2.

Sajour held serve in the eighth game to win with a forehand shot into the deep corner out of the reach of Johnson to cut the lead to 5-3. Johnson served for the set in the ninth game and won to take a 1-0 set lead.

However, things changed dramatically in the second set as Sajour began finding and producing a number of brilliant penetrative shots and aces as he worked the Jamaican, forcing him into hard running to both side of the court for a 1-0 lead.

In the second game, the Haitian went up 40-0 before Johnson railed to deuce at 40-40, but Sajour broke his opponent to take a 2-0 lead. The world No 638 in men's singles peppered the Jamaican with some good returns and shots to hold serve and win the third game to lead 3-0.

Sajour said after his victory that he was very pleased. "I went out there to win every game, but Johnson played well and is a good player. I never expected to lose the first set as the Jamaica was finding his shots well and surprised me by winning," he said.

Meanwhile, 27-year-old Johnson said: "It was a very good game and I know that I played extremely well, but things changed quickly in the second set where the Haitian got the better of things

from then onwards as the match progressed."

Meanwhile, Jamaican ffion Fletcher rallied from a set down to defeat top-seeded Simone Brown of the United States (USA) to capture the women's singles title.

The second-seeded Fletcher from of Montego Bay won in three sets, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a match that lasted one hour and 54 minutes. She also avenged her defeat to Brown in the semi-finals last year.





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