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Bajans struggle on opening day

Barbados’ top players found the going tough as the 2013 ITF/Barbados International Junior Tennis tournament served off yesterday at the National Tennis Centre, Wildey.

The island’s leading under-18 girls, Kianna Marshall, Cherise Slocombe and Melena Lopez all fought but went out in the first round as their more seasoned opponents advanced.

Slocombe was defeated 6-2, 6-0 by American Gillian Perrotta while Lopez was defeated 6-1, 6-2 by No.6 seed Caroline Turner, also of the United States.

Over at the Summerhayes courts in Belleville, where some of the early rounds of the under-18 matches are being played, the left-handed Marshall fought bravely in the second set before losing 6-1, 7-5 to American Helen Altick.

In the boys’ under-18 division, Barbadian Matthew Hutchinson often looked competitive against Maximilano Zavala (USA) but was unable to control the match. Zavala won 6-3, 6-2 and moved into the second round.

Among some other winners in early matches on Monday, were unseeded Brazilian Arthur Stefani, who defeated American Christian Haushammer, 7-6, 6-4, and No.2 seed Mira Ruder-Hook (USA), who eliminated Canadian Nicole Bunea, 6-0, 6-0.

No.5 seed, Gerardo Cardenas of Mexico also eliminated Trinidadian Ty Abraham 6-0, 6-1.

The tournament is being played in under-18 and under-14 divisions.More than 100 players from 25 countries, along with coaching staff and supporters, are on the island this week for the 19thannual ITF/Barbados tournament which is one of the biggest junior tournaments in the Caribbean.

The tournament is organised by the Barbados Tennis Association and BTA President Dr. Raymond Forde said hosting such a tournament provided local and regional players with good exposure that helped to improve the standard of play in the region.

Players from Russia, England, Venezuela, the United States, Germany, Ecuador, Canada, Korea, Sweden, Italy, France, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil as well as the English, French and Dutch-speaking Caribbean are contesting the tournament. (BB)††

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