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Phillips set for final showdown

Caribbean cruising: Daniel Phillips has reached the under-14 boys’ singles final in Aruba

Bermuda’s Daniel Phillips advanced to the final of the Under-14 division at the TIHTA Aruba tournament yesterday when he beat Jaden De La Fuente of Curaçao 6-2, 6-0.

Phillips will meet Enmanuel Muñoz in today’s final, after Muñoz, of the Dominican Republic, beat Ignacio Parisca, of Venezuela, 6-3, 6-1 in the other semi-final. Phillips beat Muñoz in three sets during the qualifying rounds of the tournament, dropping the first set 2-6 before winning the next two sets 6-1, 6-1.

Phillips won his previous two matches without dropping a game as he moved into the final with some strong performances.

He explained that the first match was all about acclimatising while the second match was “managing the pressure, focusing on self and connecting to coach [Sam Maybury] in the stands”.

Phillips added: “In the third and fourth matches I was doing it for Bermuda to get to the finals. In the fifth match I’m doing it with everything I had in my skill set for a successful start to winning titles in the Caribbean and making Rafa Nadal Academy proud of my achievement.”

After this weekend, Phillips will head to Nassau, Bahamas, for the Junkanoo Bowl which starts on Monday. After that he will play in the Jamaica Junior Tournament in Kingston from July 9 to 15 and then the Dominican Republic Copa Merangue from July 16 to 22, which are also part of the Cotecc U14 Circuit.