BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE Federation’s tennis team competing in the C.O. Williams Barbados Junior International COTECC tournament had mixed results over the weekend, but National Champion Dannielson Lybert kept the flag flying.
The three players - Matthew Owen, Khalil Burroughs and National and Regional Junior Champion Dannielson Lybert - are competing in both singles and doubles competition at the regional tennis tournament.
When play resumed on the second day of the competition after a one-hour rain delay, Burroughs took on Barbados’s Dante Haynes and both of them
came out with the same strategy using similar styles of play.
Burroughs and Haynes played searching drives, sitting back and playing defensive shots while waiting for the opponent to crack. In the end, it was Haynes who faultered, handing the St. Kitts-Nevis player the first set.
In the second set, both players decided to forego the searching drives and just sit back with defensive play. It was a strategy that worked well for Haynes who took an error riddled set, setting up a decisive third. But it was Burroughs who walk away the victor, taking the decider 7-5.
In the post match review, Burroughs noted that he needs to keep his aggressive drives going throughout the entire match.
Haynes’ mother, Paula, and coach Stacy stated that the game was so close and changed momentum so many times that they had to walk away for some of the really long rallies, as the stress of the see-saw match was too much for them to bear.
Owen went down in straight sets to Trinidad and Tobago's Aaron Subero 1-4, 0-4. It was a nerve-riddled match for the young Owen who found the going tough on the second day of competition and could not match his more experienced opponent.
The Federation’s top male junior player, Dannielson Lybert, displayed class and composure as he dispatched Trinidad and Tobago’s Malcolm Prince in straight sets 4-2, 4-2.
Lybert, who has regional experience, started strong and never let his opponent get into the game. It was a critical win for him as he was playing with an injury and is in line to qualify for the main draw.
All of the Federation’s players are playing in the round robin qualifying draw and need to finish within the top two to make the cut. At the end of day two, Lybert was well positioned to qualify since he had completed his four-player group with two wins and one loss.
Ludis Saddler, National Coach, commented that Dannielson is the most experienced on the SKN team, having played two regional tournaments in 2018 and 2019.
Saddler stated that Dannelson likes to get into the match early and showcase his power, which has worked to his advantage when he competes against less experienced players.
Meanwhile, action on Saturday (Apr. 16) saw Burroughs being defeated by Louis Kale Dalla Costa of Trinidad, 4-0, 4-0. He would later suffer a double bagel loss to Connor Carrington 0-4, 0-4.
Lybert, in his opening match, got the better of Ishan Sharma from India, who is based in St. Lucia. He took that contest in straight sets, 4-1, 4-1. However, in his second game of the day, he went down to O'Neill 4-0, 4-1.
Owen took on the more experienced Dimitri Kirton and went down 4-1, 4-1. The St. Kitts player then rebounded from that opening defeat to easily overpower Llewelyn York 4-0, 4-0, who is playing his first regional tournament since 2018.
The players were all expected to attend a high performance coaching session under the watchful eyes of Coach Paul Stewart, the immediate former Technical Director for the Barbados Tennis Association Junior Development Programme, and former Technical Director for Barbados' Davis Cup Programme across all ages.
Burroughs and Owen will both be competing in the consolation tournament.
The 2022 C.O. Williams Barbados Junior International COTECC tournament wraps up on Thursday (Apr. 21).
The team’s participation in the tournament was made possible through support from the following:
1.Ministry of Sport
3.Island Flavours Restaurant
4.St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank
6.Avalon Medical Lab
11.NextGen Medical Labs
12.Members of the Tennis Fraternity in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis
13.Parents of the players contingent
14.Coach Ludis Saddler