Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Bicknell shines at Bermuda International

Published:Thursday | June 30, 2016 | 6:00 AMShayne Fairman
Blaise Bicknell

Upcoming tennis star Blaise Bicknell blazed an emphatic trail at the annual International Tennis Federation (ITF)-sanctioned Bermuda International Junior Tournament at the WER Joell Tennis Stadium in Bermuda, where the 14-year-old secured runner-up spot behind Mexican, sixth-ranked and number-one seed Santiago Hinojosa 6-4, 6-2 at the weekend.

He was joined at the tournament by mother, Nicola and father Bruce Bicknell, chairman of Waterhouse Football Club.

"His hard work and determination are paying off and we are proud of his drive to succeed. His coaches must be very proud because of the hard work he puts in. He has worked very hard for them," said Bruce in a telephone interview.

Blaise could be considered a young player with a drive to win, having showed incredible drive to succeed, even against older players in the under-18 competition.

"We are all very proud of him. He had a tough draw with some top-ranking players, but he has shown big improvements. It's up to him how much better he wants to make it happen. He has all the support he needs," continued his father, who is also the managing director of Tank-Weld Metals.

The father stressed that his tennis-playing son would continue working hard to excel in the sport.

"Nothing gets to his head and he will only go from strength to strength and remain determined to succeed," he added.

Meanwhile, Blaise, who started playing tennis at age nine, says while he has no disappointments with this tournament, he is already looking forward to improving and, hopefully, winning at the ITF Under-18 tournament in Cuba, which is currently under way.

"I reached the finals. I had a really good tournament. I went in and tried my best. I feel good," he said.

Blaise is coached by Mel Spence and Damion Johnson. There were 32 opponents in qualifying and a further 32 in the main draw of the competition.

"It's really a good feeling. I will be going to Cuba next. I hope I can win there," added Blaise.