Dwyer, Franz shine at Mayberry Open
Leroy Brown, Gleaner Writer
Two of Jamaica's promising junior players, Cliff Dwyer, a 15-year-old student at Liberty Academy; and Stephanie Franz, also 15 and an Immaculate Conception High School fifth-former, stole the spotlight in the finals of the Mayberry Investment Open Junior Tennis Tournament, which ended at the Liguanea Club, New Kingston, yesterday afternoon.
The two-day tournament attracted 70 players in five age groups and saw Dwyer having to pull out all the stops to score a come-from-behind victory over 13-year-old Nicholas Gore in the final of the boys 16-and-under event. Dwyer won 3-6, 6-3, 10-8.
Gore, whose smooth stroke play saw him dominate the early play, faced a spirited fightback in the second set as Dwyer used good serving to set up his counter-attacks and secure the second set.
The 10-point tiebreaker produced a close and intense battle as both players fought hard to 7-7. Dwyer then inched ahead to 9-8, and as tension rose, Gore, serving to stay in the match, faltered and double-faulted, while a relieved Dwyer grinned broadly at his good fortune.
Franz faced a formidable opponent in the pint-sized 12-year-old Michaela Stephens, who stormed out of the gates to take the first set 6-1.
However, Franz regrouped, and taking it, on a point-by-point basis, started off well in the second set and went on to win a hard-fought 6-4.
In the tiebreaker, Stephens got off to a great start and led 3-0. She widened the lead to 6-2, at which stage Franz showed resilience. She held her own service games, and then a couple of breaks saw her taking the score to 8-8, and then holding her own, to make it 10-8 and register a great come-from-behind victory.
In the girls 12-and-under event, Raccine Malcolm defeated Mia Sampson 6-2, 2-6, 10-7, and in the girls 14-and-under, Jenna Harrison defeated Leah Azan 6-0, 6-0.
In the boys 10-and-under, Jordan Vaz defeated Alex Chin 1-4, 4-1, 7-2; Cole McNair defeated Keyon'dre Clarke 6-1, 6-1 in the boys 12-and-under; and in the boys 14-and-under, Dimitri Traile defeated Jordan Luck 6-0, 6-0.