Road tennis tourney gets going
The Cream of the Crop Road Tennis Tournament might be missing the likes of Julian “Michael Jackson” White and Antonio “Lil Man” Daniel but the excitement level didn’t suffer for their absence at the Villages at Coverley, Christ Church, last night.
The top-billed Mark “Venom” Griffith disposed of the game but over-matched Shawn Spencer in straight sets 22-20, 20-14. The nightcap encounter was an exciting affair, especially the first game where Griffith’s reputation seemed to mean nothing to Spencer. But Griffith’s class won out in the end in a close first match. The second match, though, gave a better indication of the gulf between the two players.
In the opening game of the evening, Curtis Jones disposed of Kyle King 21-15, 21-10 in fairly comfortable fashion.
Marston Johnson and the ever-improving Emar Edwards provided a number of thrilling shots for the crowd that turned up, with Johnson starting in a rush and finishing in a fizzle. He got the better of Edwards in the first game at 21-12 but then the younger, fitter and more mobile Edwards outlasted Johnson over the next two games, taking them at 21-15 and 21-10.
The third match-up of the night saw Aaron Barker taking on Dario Hinds and the latter emerging victorious 16-21, 21-15, 21-16. The game followed much the same pattern as the one that preceded it with Barker taking a hard-fought first game off Hinds. But once again it was the younger Hinds who prevailed.
The players were using a newly introduced fluorescent ball designed for better viewing for spectators and took some time to adjust to it.
The finals of the tournament will be played in the United States on August 29 as part of a promotional tour by the Professional Road Tennis Association.