Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Barbadian tennis star Hayden Lewis is confident he will successfully defend his singles title at next week's NCB Capital Markets Jamaica Open Tennis Championships.
The tournament will be held at the Liguanea Club, New Kingston, from November 19-25 and has attracted some of the top regional players.
The 26-year-old Lewis, who defeated Nikita Kryvonos to capture last year's title, told The Gleaner that he has been preparing mentally and physically for the championships.
"I feel good because you always have the confidence behind you, knowing that you are the defending champion," said Lewis.
"I know that it is going to be tough because all of the other competitors will be out there trying to get the title for themselves," he added.
Lewis is expected to face tough competition from last year's beaten finalist, Jamaica's Damion Johnson, along with fellow Jamaicans Brandon Burke, Damion Johnson, Daniel Harris and Dominic Pagan, as well as Haiti's Oliver Sajous, who was a semi-finalist at the 2011 tournament.
"I have been practising a lot and I have also been getting a lot of good mental rest because I haven't been competing in a lot of professional tournaments in the past few months," Lewis said.
"I have that urge again to go out there and start playing, and that is why I am looking forward to this tournament," Lewis stated.
Continuing, he said: "There are definitely a few players who will be good competition and, like I said, it depends on the day, especially with tennis. If one person is doing something better than the other guy, then he will win."
Meanwhile, John Bailey, president of Tennis Jamaica, is anticipating a very exciting six days of tennis at this year's tournament.
"Come out next week because you are going to see some amazing tennis," said Bailey.
"We are also expecting more overseas players and so it should be good competition," he said.