Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Stephens creates history by winning Hi-Pro senior title

Published:Tuesday | August 23, 2016 | 8:00 AMLeroy Brown
Stephens

Tennis history was created at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre last Sunday when 13-year-old Michaela Stephens, a student at Liberty Academy in Kingston, became the youngest player to win the female singles section of a Tennis Jamaica senior All-Jamaica tournament.

Stephens defeated 28-year-old Pauline Henry 6-1, 6-1 in the final of the Hi-Pro All-Jamaica Senior Tennis Championships.

In the male section, the No. 1 seed, Damion Johnson, who was runner-up last year, defeated Dwayne Pagon 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.

Stephens, who will be 14 years old in October and is also the All Jamaica Junior champion, controlled the game from the start and used her superior service to set up winners, while staying aggressive throughout the match.

She also adjusted to the windy conditions much faster than her opponent, who served a spate of double faults.

Henry, who is an entertainment coordinator at the Holiday Inn Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, had been off the tennis scene for some time. She told The Gleaner that her last tournament was two years ago and she was coaxed into entering this tournament, thus, she was only able to practise for a few weeks.

She was disappointed at not taking the top prize, but took consolation in the fact that she had reached the finals, which will encourage her "to return to the game and play as much as my work schedule will allow me".

Stephens' mother, Jacinth Bryant, toasted her daughter after the victory with a bottle of sparkling grape juice.

"I am a happy woman today," she told The Gleaner. "Michaela works very hard, and it is good to see her achieving this type of success."

In the men's Class Two, Barry Hazel defeated Leighton Burton 6-2, 6-2 and in Class Three, Sean Martin defeated Marlon Hosang 7-5, 4-6 and 10-6 in the Super tie-breaker. In the men's doubles, Pagon and Matthew Rodriguez defeated Jeremy Miller and Cliff Dwyer 6-4, 3-2 and in the women's doubles, Stephens and Jenna Harrison defeated Gina Delisser and Pauline Harrison 10-5.