Sunday, April 21, 2024

Smashing tennis battle


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Road tennis is definitely alive and kicking in Barbados.
This was evident during the staging of this year’s SJ Health and Bakery Limited Punches in Bunches competition, which came to an exciting end on Sunday at the Belfield court.
First, let me tip my hat to the organizers for hosting a well-planned and well-executed event, which brought out the spectators from the opening rounds.
None was as big as Sunday’s, though, which saw hundreds of people watching some riveting tennis between Julian “Michael Jackson” White and Mark “Venom” Griffith in the “A” class final, and Junior “Big Arms” Boucher and Keon Murrell in the ‘B’ class.
In the end, Murrell and White emerged as champions, registering contrasting victories.
Murrell was brutal in his demolition of Boucher, whom he outgunned 21-16, 21-9.
Using his explosive forehand, Murrell regularly left his opponent standing haplessly in midcourt while powering balls both down the line and cross court, much to the delight of the large crowd.
Boucher, on the other hand, was a shadow of the man who had battled back from the brink of defeat in the semi-finals, as he consistently committed unforced errors, especially in the second set.
And while he never got into a rhythm, Murrell grew in confidence as the game went on, emphasized by his powerful cross court shot which resulted in the dreadlocked Boucher losing by a “sow”.
In a riveting “A” class final, White was forced to claw back from a set down before conquering Griffith 17-21, 21-17, 21-16.
In what was billed as a clash between the island’s two top players, White and Griffith thrilled the spectators with some top class tennis which left some in awe.
There could only be one winner, though, and in the end, White, the defending champion, emerged victorious.
The night also featured an entertaining “shotgun” doubles competition which was won by Darius “Baraccus” Gaskin and Anthony “Ears” Mitchell, who easily defeated Aaron Barker and Adrian Best 21-11 in the final.

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