Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Cain stars at AJ Junior Tennis

Published:Friday | July 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Damani Cain, winner of the boys’ 18 and under and 16 and under titles at the All- Jamaica Junior Tennis Championships, collecting a trophy from Deveta McLaren, marketing manager of sponsors Access Financial Services.
Daniel Azar, the boys’ 12 and under and 14 and under champion at the All-Jamaica Junior Tennis Championships, receiving his trophy from Deveta McLaren, marketing manager of sponsors Access Financial Services.
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Damani Cain was one of the star performers at last weekend's Access Financial Services Junior All-Jamaica Tennis Championships at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre.

Cain was among three double champions who were crowned at the tournament. The others were Michaela Stephens and Daniel Azar.

Fifteen-year-old Cain won the boys' 18 and under and 16 and under titles, while 12-year-old Azar won the boys' 12 and under and 14 and under titles. The 14-year-old Stephens, who has just returned from a six- month coaching stint in Canada, won the girls' 18 and under and 16 and under titles.

Cain, who was seeded at No. 1 in the 16 and under and No. 3 in the 18 and under, first defeated John Azar Jr 6-1, 7-6 in the lower age group. Then, in the 18 and under, he turned the tables on the No. 1-seeded Cliff Dwyer 6-3, 6-0. This was a shocker as Cain had never beaten Dwyer before. He lifted his game appreciably and managed to turn the tables.

 

DETERMINED TO CHANGE

 

He said afterwards that he was "tired of losing to Cliff and was determined to change things this time.

"I played hard and smart, and got the result that I wanted," Cain added.

The three-day tournament produced excellent and competitive tennis and served as preparation for local juniors who will be participating in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior tournament that will be played in Jamaica next week.

In the 16 and under competition, Stephens defeated 11-year old Selena Byrd, who was one of the outstanding players this year. Byrd knocked out some older players on her way to the final and was very competitive against Stephens, but lost 6-2, 6-3. Stephens had to work hard in the 18 and under finals against Canada-based Justine Bryson. She dropped the first set 5-7, but won the second set 6-3 and the super tiebreaker 10-6 to take her second title.

Daniel Azar defeated Delano Reeves in the 12 and under 8-3 and Cole McNair 7-5, 6-3 in the 14 and under to complete the double; and in the girls' 14 and under, Katherine Dibbs defeated Alyssa James 7-5, 6-2 to take that title.

- L.B.