Former Jamaica player Bicknell impressive at ITF Junior tourney

Saturday, July 13, 2019

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FORMER Jamaica player Blaise Bicknell came from a set down to beat Benjamin Kittay from the USA in three sets 6-7 (7-5), 6-2, 6-0 in their semi-final encounter in the boys' 18 and under singles at the 2019 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Jamaica Invitational Junior Tournament at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre yesterday.

The finals of the boys and girls singles and the boys doubles will be played this morning, starting at 9:00.

The Jamaican-born Bicknell, who is currently representing the USA, is the top seed in the boys' singles. He will meet second seed Alexander Bernard from the USA in today's final after both players won their respective semi-finals yesterday.

Bernard, 15, and seeded at two, defeated unseeded Evan Wen from the USA in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 21 minutes.

Meanwhile, the girls' 18 and under singles final will be contested between two Americans — 13-year-old Ava Catanzarite (third seed) and unseeded 13-year-old Brooklyn Olson.

Catanzarite knocked out her doubles partner and top-seed Ava Krug from the USA in straight sets, while Olson cruised past her compatriot and second seed Nevena Carton in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 in their respective semi-finals yesterday.

The Bicknell and Kittay clash was the match of the day, as both players traded powerful serves and strong returns in a keenly contested encounter.

Action in the girls' final should be very interesting, as Catanzarite will be looking for another title top add to the four she has already won on the circuit.

The top pair of Ava Catanzarite and Ava Krug from the USA captured the girls' doubles by thrashing the second-seeded pair of Nevena Carton from USA and Anika Jaskova from Slovakia in straight sets 6-1, 6-0.

Meanwhile, the boys' doubles will be contested by the pairs of Jakub Ostajeswji and Matthew Robinson from the USA against their compatriots Connor Krug and Jake Krug.

Ostajewski and Robinson defeated the top pair of Alexander Bernard from USA and Oska Poulsen from Denmark in three sets 6-3, 2-6, 10-4 in the super tie-breaker set, while the Krugs knocked out Donte Armbrister from The Bahamas and Alejandro Licea from Spain 6-1, 3-6, 10-7 in the super tie-breaker set.

— Gerald Reid

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