Hazel, Allen victors at Liguanea Amateurs
Experience triumphed over youth as veteran Barry Hazel beat defending champion Ricardo Chambers to win the Liguanea Club Amateur Tennis Championships at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston on Saturday night.
The match appeared to be going in Chambers' favour when he won the initial two games in the first set. Chambers only managed to win two more games before Hazel went into overdrive and stormed to victory. The veteran schooled the youngster, showing off the range of his skills as he posted a 6-3, 6-1 victory to win the Class 2 Championship.
In order to win the final, Hazel said that he developed a strategy to neutralise the defending champion's game.
"Ricardo played aggressively throughout the tournament, but I knew that once he faced my weapons, it wouldn't be so easy for him to get ahead of me. So I decided not to match him shot for shot, but to find my rhythm, get into a steady groove and just play my shots," he said.
In Class 3, surprise finalist Stuart Allen defeated seasoned campaigner Richard McNair to win his first championship title. The spirited youngster caused a stir when he eliminated top seed Ricardo Livingston in their quarter-final match. McNair had his moments, but Allen, who was inspired by the earlier upset, prevailed 6-4, 6-3.
Reflecting on the match, Allen was elated with the victory.
"The feeling is unbelievable. It was a surprise that I made it this far and I am very happy to have won. It was not an easy match. The first set was very close, so I made sure to try to build up a lead in the second set and I was able to hold it right through to the end," he said.
Liguanea Club General Manager Rory Shepherd said: "We are pleased to have had a successful Amateur Tennis Championship. It is great to see the younger players who are taking over and ensuring a bright future for tennis in Jamaica, but it is also encouraging seeing the veterans who are still in the game and playing well."