Sunday, April 21, 2024

Bertran, Stefani come out tops


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PETER?BERTRAN, a 17-year-old player from the Dominican Republic, and unseeded Brazilian Luisa Stefani emerged winners of ITF/Barbados junior tennis tournament last weekend.
Bertran, the No.8 seed, upstaged No.1 Robbie Ridout of England 6-1, 6-3 to lift the boys’ under-18 singles title while Stefani defeated American No.2 seed Mira Ruder-Hook 6-3, 6-4.
In windy conditions that challenged players on the hardcourts of the National Tennis Centre, Bertran produced some smart tennis to control the match against Ridout, who is ranked 500 places above him.
Bertran took the first set as Ridout struggled with his serve and then varied the length and pace of his returns in the second set to stave off the Englishman, who got more aggressive in the final three games.
After holding a daunting 5-2 lead in the second set, Bertran dropped serve in the eighth game, when Ridout pressured him with some aggressive returns. However, he maintained his composure in the 9th game and sealed the match with a passing forehand winner as Ridout moved forward in search of a volley.
Ridout had qualified for the play-off with a convincing 6-4, 6-1 semi-final victory over Alejandro Llamas of the United States, while Bertran produced a remarkable comeback to stop Maximilano Zavala (USA), 0-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Late on Friday, Ridout teamed with his brother, Charlie Ridout, to lift the under-18 boys doubles title when they defeated Gerardo Cardenas and Jesus Suarez-Rivas of Mexico, 6-3, 7-6.
It was the second straight year of competition in Barbados for the No.1 seed, who appeared a much improved player since his demise in the round of 16 in the 2012 tournament.
Brazilian Stefani turned back the challenge of Ruder-Hook, 6-3, 6-4, in a testing baseline battle.
Just like she did in the semifinals, when she ousted temperamental American Jenna Freidel. The Brazilian produced a fearless and solid game to stop a player ranked 900 places above her.
Ruder-Hook later got a measure of revenge in the Girls’ Under-18 doubles as she teamed with fellow American Caroline Turner to defeat Stefani and Jennifer Quenard (Switzerland) 3-6, 6-1, 10-4 in the final. (PR)
After the Barbados tournament, Stefani and her Saddlebrook Academy tour party headed to Puerto Rico to play in another ITF Grade 4 tournament .
The  2013 ITF/ Barbados international junior tournament marked the 19th straight year that the tournament was hosted at the National Tennis Centre and organized by the Barbados Tennis Association.
The week-long tournament attracted more than 100 players from 25 countries, including Russia, England, Australia, Venezuela, the United States, Germany, Ecuador, Canada, Korea, Sweden, Italy, France , Mexico, Colombia, Brazil as well as the English, French, Spanish and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. (PR)


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