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Lawrence, Blackwood are tennis champions

Xavier Lawrence and Ilana Blackwood are the undisputed national champions after they both delivered stellar performances to win the 2015 Sol Open National Tennis finals played this week at the National Tennis Center in Wildey.

Ilana Blackwood is the 2015 SOL Women’s Open national champion.

Ilana Blackwood is the 2015 SOL Women’s Open national champion.

Xavier Lawrence won the 2015 SOL Men’s Open national championship.

Xavier Lawrence won the 2015 SOL Men’s Open national championship.

Vice president of the Barbados Lawn Tennis Association, Sandra Osborne, told Barbados TODAY that even though they had a good competition this year with lots of fun rivalries the aim next year would be to improve a few things and among them would be to increase the number of participants.

“The aim next year is to improve the numbers. I think that we can try to offer more officiating, in other words, use more officials to officiate and monitor. And that of course was a challenge because we don’t have that many and for some people the timing is not ideal. So we are looking at that to see if we can find a better time of the year where we can get more people but it is difficult because there are so many tennis tournaments going on both locally, regionally and internationally,” Osborne said.

She explained that since it was a national competition they were hoping to have members of the Davis Cup team participating but due to other commitments they were unable to but she was pleased with how the juniors performed.

Barbados’ number one ranked junior player 16-year-old Lawrence defeated another young upcoming talent Kyle Frost, the son of former Davis Cup player Bernard Frost, in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 to take the men’s open quite easily.

In the women’s open final Blackwood showed her class with a superb victory against Jamie Lewis.

The final match that brought the curtains down on the 2015 championship was the men’s open double that went into a third set tie-breaker between Michael Date and Joshua Worme who produced a major upset when they took on the number one seeds Ryan Moseley and Andrew Thornton. In the first set Date and Worme brought themselves back into the game after being down 3-5 to tie the scores 5-5 but it was Moseley and Thornton who took that opening encounter 7-5.

Date and Worme however composed themselves well to lock the game at 1-1 when they won the second set 7-5. Then in the third and decisive quarter Date and Worme with an 8-6 lead managed to finish off their opponents 11-9 on the third match point.

There were other outstanding performances from the respective age categories and among those was former national player Donna Gibbs who defeated Rosie Roach in the women’s over 35. Gibbs also teamed up with Camila Dewitt in the women’s doubles and they were victorious against Gabriella Leslie and Tangia Riley-Codrington.

Five-time Davis Cup player Damien Applewhaite playing against Mathew Weir won the men’s over 35 singles while Alan Grogan got the better of Lloyd Slocombe in the men’s over-45 contest.

In men’s over-35 doubles play Bernard Frost and Russell Jones walked away as champions when they took on Richard Marsh and Derek Scutt. The men’s over 45 doubles featured Lloyd Slocombe and Roger Millar who trounced Ian Harewood and Michael Wharton.

Romani Mayers and Jamie Lewis held off Ian Harewood and Sonia Grant to come out on top in the mixed
doubles contest.

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