Bicknell, Lizariturry win Liguanea Classic
Jamaica’s top junior player, 17-year-old Blaise Bicknell, and 20-year-old college student Sarah Lizariturry from Spain won the men’s and women’s Open division titles in the inaugural Liguanea Club Tennis Classic at the Liguanea Club, New Kingston, on Saturday.
The tournament, which was played over eight days, had NCB Capital Markets and Toyota Jamaica as the major sponsors and was the first senior tournament in the Llockett McGregor Tennis Series this year. In the finals, Bicknell defeated Marcus Malcolm 6-3, 6-3, while Lizariturry defeated Selena Bird 6-4, 6-4.
Other winners were the ladies’ B Class champion, Beverly Muir, who defeated Racquel Nevins 7-5, 2-6,10-8; the men’s Class 2 champion, Garth Darby, who defeated Barry Hazel 3-6, 6-4,10-5; and the men’s Class 3 champion, Ricardo Livingston, who defeated Alric Sproul 7-5, 6-1.
Both Open division finals produced good tennis, and Bicknell, who has been having a good year in overseas tournaments, took time out from playing on the ITF circuit to make an impressive local appearance. Seeded at No. 1, he was dominant throughout, and though Malcolm was competitive, Bicknell was always able to stay a step ahead of him. In the first set, they exchanged early breaks, but once Bicknell went ahead of his opponent, he did not look back.
The ladies’ Open final was very competitive, and 20-year-old Lizariturry, who is a senior at Mississippi State University, used accurate ground strokes and patience to win the title. A southpaw, she was bothered by an aching left elbow and had to take a medical timeout in the second set, but her patience and ability to make Bird play extra balls paid off in the end.