BLTA president calls for cash
Bermuda’s Junior Davis Cup team placed an impressive seventh out of 18 countries at the North/Central America and Caribbean prequalifying event in El Salvador.
The local youngsters beat Jamaica and sixth seeds Puerto Rico to qualify for the main elimination draw. In the main draw, they narrowly missed defeating No 3 seeds Aruba. Bermuda’s junior Davis Cup team then met the Dominican Republic, where once again it came down to a doubles decision, which Bermuda lost 2-1.
Bermuda’s final match against Barbados on Saturday ended on a high note, however, winning 2-1 to record the island’s highest finish in the event.
Trey Mallory and Tariq Symons won their deciding doubles match 6-4, 7-5 against Kaipo Marshall and Romani Mayers to take the tie.
The Bermudians were up 4-0 in the second set, but their lead slipped and found themselves down 5-4. Coach Ricky Mallory lit a fire under the boys and they refocused to win the set and the match.
Earlier on Saturday, Scott Redmond was defeated 6-2, 6-2 by Marshall. Despite the score, the match lasted an hour and 25 minutes and Redmond gave it his all. Mallory was up next and made short work of Mayers, 6-1, 6-0 in less than one hour.
Ricky Mallory, who is also Bermuda’s national tennis director, said: “Our boys played some strong tennis, and really made an impressive showing this week. We had some close chances to place even higher, which shows we can hang with the best in the region. We can certainly hold our heads high and know that we gave it our all. I’m really proud of them and excited about the future of junior tennis in Bermuda.”
Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association president Mike Wolfe said: “I am so proud of the team’s performance and I’m looking forward to welcoming them home with their parents and supporters.
“The success of the team this week goes to show that our juniors have the talent and commitment.
“What we need more than ever to keep the momentum going in tennis is financial support. It costs money for court time, evening lights and coaches, not to mention the cost of travelling for international competition which is so important to our juniors’ development.
“If I had my way, the kids would be playing against international competition numerous times a year — imagine the results we could have as a country then. Like many sports we no longer receive a government grant, hence we have to rely fully on fundraising for everything we do, many times coaches give their time for free but that is not sustainable.
“We’re hopeful that Bermuda will see that we have the talent and if we had the financial means we could go even further.”
To support the BLTA and their tennis programmes please visit www.blta.bm to donate.