Jacob Bicknell wins Costa Rica U-14 title
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
National junior representative Jacob Bicknell played brilliantly to capture the ITF Costa Rica Bowl Under-14 tournament on Friday in San Jose.
Bicknell, who went into the tournament unranked, brushed aside second seed and hometown favourite Diego Chavarria in straight sets in the final, winning 6-4, 6-2. He won a second title when he combined with younger brother Blaise to win the doubles.
The 13-year-old Bicknell, one of Jamaica's most promising junior players, secured his place in the final with an easy 6-2, 6-4 semi-finals victory over Venezuela's Brandon Perez.
Chavarria secured his spot in the final when he got the better of Blaise 6-4,4-6,6-3.
Jacob had a slow start in the final and had to fight his way back from 3-0 down before winning the opening set 6-4.
The powerful right-hander took command of the match in the second set as he outclassed his opponent by breaking him twice to win 6-4.
"I was so nervous to start with and was down 0-3, but once I slowed my game down and warmed up, then I started to play much better and kept that momentum until I eventually won," Jacob told The Sunday Gleaner yesterday.
"This is one of the biggest tournaments in this region and so I am very happy that I have won it," he said.
The Hillel Academy student added that the tournament was a very difficult one and therefore had to play his best tennis from start to finish, in order to achieve his victory.
"This means a lot to me because it will give me a lot of confidence going into my upcoming tournaments," Jacob said.
Jacob and Blaise defeated Daniel Dominguez of Guatemala and Perez 6-2, 6-4 to take home the doubles title.
"Doubles finals was a tough match and so we had to play really hard to win it," said Jacob. Both players were accompanied to Costa Rica by their coach Mel Spence as well as their parents, Bruce and Nicola Bicknell.
The players in the tournament were drawn from Central America, North America and the Caribbean.