Local trio march into final
At least one Bermudian will be crowned a Bermuda ITF Junior Open champion after three local players made it through to the boys' doubles final.
Tariq Simons, Scott Redmond and Trey Mallory will all be gunning for glory at the WER Joell Stadium today, with Simons and Redmond, ranked fourth, taking on compatriot Mallory, who is seeded second along with partner and boys' singles champion, Ellis Short, of the United States.
Both pairs endured hard-fought semi-final encounters with Mallory and Ellis overcoming third seeds Jacob Lowen and Samuel Reichbach 7-5, 3-6, 10-4, while Simons and Redmond mounted an incredible fightback to recover from a set and four games down in the second set to ultimately prevail 4-6, 6-4, 14-12 against top seeds Mark Dancuart and Jakub Ostajewski.
“It was an unbelievable comeback; we're both just so ecstatic,” Redmond said.
“It will be a first ITF final for either of us, so we're just going to do our best, hopefully go one step further and try and win the title.
“The pressure definitely got to us at the beginning but once we relaxed and the momentum changed, we could see them getting nervous because they were the top seeds. They had everything to lose and as underdogs nothing was really expected of us.
“To know there will be at least one Bermudian champion is amazing; I don't think any of us local players thought that there would be all three of us in the final, so it's great to see.
“We've beaten the top seeds and now we'll face the No 2 seeds so the pressure will be off us slightly again. We're the underdogs, but we'll be gunning for another upset.”
Reflecting on the comeback, Simons highlighted the exact turning point of the match and spoke of his expectations of the final against Mallory and part-time resident Short.
“When we were down four games in that second set I just looked at Scott and lets just have some fun with it and after that the momentum just seemed to change,” Simons said.
“We are the two fastest guys in the tournament and we suddenly seemed to be getting to every ball and even managed to hit a few big winners.
“At 4-3 in that second set, I could definitely see it in their faces and their heads started to drop. However, I think the biggest difference was in ourselves because we went back to playing the tennis that we know best.
“Trey hits the ball so hard and we both play the opposite style of getting the returns in. We'll try and stick to our game plan and see what we can do.
“It's a massive achievement for us to get to the final, but we definitely both want to win it.”
Ellis, who was seeded as No 2 in the singles, was handed the title after being awarded a walkover victory in the final against Ostajewski. Meanwhile, it proved a memorable day for Canada's Catherine Denysiewicz-Slowek, who secured double delight with victory in both the girls' singles and doubles.
Having beaten third seed Mia Slama 6-1, 6-0 in the semis, unseeded Denysiewicz-Slowek caused another upset in the final, defeating No 2 seed Olivia Lincer, of the US, 6-0, 6-1 in the final to clinch not only the title but also world ranking points.
Also unseeded in the doubles, Denysiewicz-Slowek was part of another shock as her and partner Orly Ogilvy battled back from a set down to beat second seeds Slama and Amulika Gottiparthy 5-7, 6-4, 10-6.