Bicknell, Broadfoot on top at ITF

Observer writer

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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BLAISE Bicknell of the USA and Gabriella Broadfoot from South Africa captured the Under-18 Boys' and Girls' singles titles, respectively, in the final of the 2018 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Jamaica Junior International Tournament at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre on Saturday.

Bicknell, ranked 205 in the boys Under-18 singles category, easily brushed aside number 640th-ranked Russell Berdusco of the USA in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 in one hour and eight minutes.

Meanwhile, the unseeded world number 1,613th-ranked Broadfoot cruised past fifth-seeded and Anika Jaskova (ranked 829) from Slovakia, also in straight sets 6-2, 6-2, doing away with her opponent in one hour and twelve minutes.

Seeded at the top in the Under-18 boys' singles, Bicknell survived a scare in his semi-final encounter against seventh seed Roger Chou, also from the USA, but his opponent had to retire hurt on Friday.

The set was level at 1-1, with Chou winning the first 6-1 and Bicknell battling to win a very exciting and close second set 7-6 (7-3 tie-breaker). Chou, however, was unable to play the deciding third set due to cramps in his legs.

“It was a very tough match playing against Chou, as he is also a very good player who attacks the ball and also executed some powerful and hard-hitting left-hand returns,” Bicknell said.

Turning to the final match against Berdusco, Bicknell thought it was a walk in the park.

“I know I would have beaten Berdusco as I had him when I was in the Under-14 some two years ago, which I won. I did not give him any opportunity to settle down as I played my own game from the start by putting on the pressure,” Bicknell noted.

Broadfoot was happy with her win and also her first title triumph this year.

“I am very pleased to have won as I was playing quite well throughout as I defeated the top seed in the semi-finals. I did not care that she was seeded above me as I just went out there to play my game to win,” Broadfoot said.

Meanwhile, in the Boys' Under-18 singles semi-finals played last Friday, Berdusco had defeated second seed Alfredo Casso from Mexico in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.

The girls' semi-finals saw Broadfoot upsetting top seed Hina Inoue of the USA 6-3, 6-7 (7-3 tie-breaker), 6-4, while Jaskova from Slovakia knocked out second seed Najah Dawson of the USA 6-7 (5-7 tie-breaker), 6-4, 6-2.

The Boys' Under-18 doubles was won by the unseeded USA pair of Roger Chou and Joshua Miller, who defeated the second-seeded pair of Berdusco and Quinn McLeod of the USA in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.

Top seed in the Girls' Under-18 doubles final was won by the USA pair of Hina Inoue and Remika Ohashi, who defeated unseeded Nayaj Dawson and Maya Pitts of the USA in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

The Jamaica COTECC Boys' Under-14 singles title was won by third-seeded Daniel Phillips of Bermuda, who defeated top seed, Jamaica's Keyon'dre Clarke, in straight sets 6-0, 6-1.

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