Sport

Cain, Stephens retain titles at Junior Tennis Championships

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

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TOP seeds Damani Cain and Michaela Stephens easily retained their boys' and girls' 18 and under singles titles at the 2019 All-Jamaica Junior Tennis Championships that ended at Eric Bell Tennis Centre on Sunday.

Both Cain and Stephens were highly fancied as defending champions to retain their respective titles and duly lived up to expectations to maintain their dominance, winning three consecutive years.

Cain, who attends Wolmer's Boys' School, defeated unseeded Russell Fairman who attends Campion College, in straight sets in one hour 45 minutes to win the boys' 18 and under singles title. Cain had beaten unseeded Joshua Graveney 6-4, 6-2, while Fairman upset second seed Romeo Edwards 6-3, 6-3 in their respective semi-finals on Saturday.

Stephens, who attends Liberty Academy, turned back second seed Kathrine Dibbs in straight sets 6-2, 6-0 in the girls' 18 and under singles final in one hour and five minutes. In the round-robin format consisting four players, Stephens and Dibbs had defeated Alyssa James and Kimberley Feron to square off in the final.

Meanwhile, the boys' 16 and under singles final was won by 14-year-old top-seed Keyondre Clarke, who defeated second-seed Joshua Graveney in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. Clarke in his semi-final on Saturday had beaten Fairman 6-0, 6-4, while Graveney stopped second-seed Cole McNair 6-3, 6-3.

The girls' 16 and under singles final was the match of the day between top-seed Dibbs and second-seed James that lasted two hours. Both players played some excellent shots to the delight of spectators, with Dibbs winning the first set 6-4.

James was tough in the second set as she got the better of Dibbs to lead 4-1, but her opponent fought back to trail 5-4. James won the next game to win the set and level the match at 1-1.

The 12-year-old James was in a good attacking mood in the third and final set with her placement of shots, as Dibbs fought hard to stay as James went up 3-0. Rain interrupted with James leading 4-0.

When both players resumed their battle after the rain interruption, James never allowed the break to affect her attacking flow, as she won the fifth game to make it 5-0 before winning the set convincingly 6-0 and the match 2-1.

Jairdan Gibbs was the winner of the boys' 14 and under singles final with an easy 6-1, 6-1 win over Kaiel Casserly 6-1, 6-1. Casserly defeated Jamar Parkinson 6-0, 6-2, while second seed Gibbs beat Joshua Haye 6-0, 6-3 in their respective semi-finals played on Saturday.

Eva Pinchas won the girls' 14 and under singles title when she defeated Kalila Morris in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.

Top-seed Kosei Gibbs captured the boys' 12 and under singles by defeating unseeded Philip Lambert in straight sets 6-2, 6-0. In their respective semi-finals, Gibbs knocked out Leo Cuff 6-0, 6-1, while Lambert got past Mikale Williams 7-5, 6-1.

– Gerald Reid


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