'I am very excited!'

Jamaica's tennis ace Randy Phillips eager to hit the courts at Pan Am Games

BY DWAYNE RICHARDS
Observer writer

Sunday, July 14, 2019

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Jamaica's number one men's tennis player Randy Phillips will be representing the country at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, which begins on Friday, July 29 and the 25-year-old can't wait to get on the court.

Having not played at this level before, he is chomping at the bit and is excited to represent the nation at the tournament.

“I am very excited. It is my first time playing something like this at an individual international tournament like Pan Am Games, so I am pretty excited to go,” said Phillips.

Despite it being his first outing at the Pan Am Games, Phillips says he is not feeling any pressure ahead of the start of the tournament.

“I know it's a pretty high-level tournament so I will be training hard in the next few weeks and see if I can do my best and get a lot of wins. I don't feel any pressure, I am just going to train hard and do the best I can,” he said calmly.

The former Campion College student was a part of the very successful Davis Cup team that recently advanced to level two after more than eight years at level three, and he credits preparation ahead of the Davis Cup for his individual achievements.

“It went really well. I had very good preparation for the tournament, I was playing a few tournaments beforehand just to make sure I was fully prepared and I think it helped me a lot, so it was a really good week and hopefully I can keep it going,” he noted.

Phillips has been Jamaica's number one for a long time and says that it has helped him to remain focused.

“It's always good to be number one, it's a great feeling — always great to represent my country. It pushes me because I know other people are coming for the same spot, so it keeps me training hard.”

Phillips gave a lot of credit to his teammates for the recent Davis Cup success.

“With regards to Davis Cup it wasn't just me, it was the whole team, I couldn't have done it without these guys, they helped me out so much, so I am glad for them and I am just going to keep working,” he shared.

Phillips says that the move up in level in the Davis Cup has been a long time coming.

“It feels so fantastic, I have been trying for this ever since I have been representing us at Davis Cup so it's exciting, but it's going to be a lot of work, the next level is going to be even tougher so I have to work even harder.”

He is also hoping that the sport will receive a bounce on the island as a result of the current wave of international success.

“I hope to see it improve the atmosphere of tennis in Jamaica, I hope to see more people getting excited about it, getting involved. I am gonna try keep getting us recognised on the international stage, and I hope it will encourage more people to be playing back at home,” Phillips stated.

The Florida resident believes that training and playing overseas has been a significant contributor to his continued improvement in the sport.

“I think being able to compete overseas and playing a lot of tournaments…travelling a lot to play a lot of tournaments, I think that has helped. It keeps me seeing players playing at a high level to know what I need to work towards and it keeps my game at a high level also.”

Phillips, who won all of his matches (singles and doubles) in aiding the Jamaican Davis Cup breakthrough, says that the success was a team effort and not dependent solely on his individual performance.

“I am not the only one carrying the flag, these guys did a great job, and I couldn't have done it without them, so I am just going to try to do my part and just keep training,” he concluded.


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