Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Sky's the limit for Blaise Bicknell

Published:Saturday | March 18, 2017 | 3:00 AMShayne Fairman and Leroy Brown
Blaise Bicknell

Following last weekend's impressive victory at the Damion Johnson men's and women's Pro Tennis Tournament, Blaise Bicknell is hungry for more success, noting he wants to improve his International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranking.

The outstanding 15- year-old is ranked 350 in boys ITF junior tennis, and copped two exciting and important victories over seniors at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre, Piccadilly Road in Kingston.

Last Saturday, he upset Jamaica's top ranked men's player, and tournament organiser Damion Johnson, 6-1, 7-6. He then claimed victory on Sunday over Damion's older brother Damar (Johnson), who now coaches in Florida, United States.

Bicknell lost the first set 0-6, but stormed back to take the next two, 6-4, 6-3. Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday; Bicknell said the game was one of the toughest of his budding career.

"I was very focussed and went out and played my best. It was really tough and I pressured back," he explained.

"It was my first time beating a top ranked player, I just went out there very determined to come out with the win," the player recalled.

BOOST TO CONFIDENCE

Though Johnson is his coach and tournament organiser, young Bicknell was quick to point out that, that win has given him a lot of confidence, to take his career forward.

"It has given me confidence going forward, this is a very good victory going into the Easter Bowl tournament in California, which I would like to do well in, and I will do my best and go for the victory," he underlined.

The ITF Juniors Easter Bowl Championship will take place March 27- April 2 in the USA.

Bicknell, who has been playing on the ITF junior circuit, recently reached the round of 16 in a Level Three tournament in Costa Rica.

He was praised for his tenacity by coach Damion Johnson.

"I never like to lose but it is good to know that I have a hand in coaching this talented young player," he said.