Phillips, Bicknell wins give country 2-0 Davis Cup lead headed into final day
JAMAICA’S NUMBER-TWO seed, Rowland ‘Randy’ Phillips, started off what was to be a good day for Jamaica in their Davis Cup tie against Estonio at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre yesterday.
Phillips easily dispatched Estonia’s number-one seed, Kristjan Tamm, winning 6-1, 6-1 (2-0).
Phillips, in his post-match assessment, said, despite the scoreline, the game was far from an easy contest.
“I wouldn’t call it easy, but I’m indeed happy to have won. I felt pressured the entire match. I just wanted to finished that last point and win the game, so there was definitely pressure.
“I just tried to focus, take it point by point and not focus on the rest of the tie,” said Phillips.
Phillips took aim at Tamm’s backhand throughout the encounter and stayed in points until the visitor made mistakes.
The decibel levels at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre would go up a few notches for the evening’s second fixture between Jamaica’s number-one seed, Blaise Bicknell, and Estonia’s Jurgen Zopp.
The Jamaican needed every octave of those decibel levels as he was forced to bounce back from a set down and a break down to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 (2-1).
Bicknell, who only arrived in the island yesterday, had to come to grips with a newly laid surface that provided higher bounce and an opponent who had a fierce backhand and rarely made mistakes.
During the game, Bicknell learned to stay away from that backhand, which made life easier as the match progressed.
“Well, I had a plan and I knew that his deep forehand wasn’t that good. So I just did that for the whole time and just got the job done,” he said.
“I was always confident that I was going to win and I’m just really happy right now. It’s now for me to recover and get ready for the next day. My mindset after the first-set defeat was that the match has just started and I just took it one point at a time,” said Bicknell.
The 21-year-old’s win means Jamaica are a win away from claiming the tie, with tomorrow’s doubles and reverse singles set to take centre stage at Eric Bell.