By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
IT was sweet revenge for Jacobi Bain as he knocked off Donte Armbrister in straight sets to win the boys 14-and-under singles title at the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association/International Tennis Federation Junkanoo Bowl tournament yesterday.
In the first final held so far in the week-long junior circuit tournament, Bain easily breezed past Armbrister 6-1, 6-2 to avenge his defeat in the BLTA Junior Nationals last week. Armbrister, the number one seed, beat No.2 seed Bain 6-3, 6-3 for the 14s crown. Armbrister was also the winner of the 16s title with a 6-3, 6-3 decision as well.
But in their first rematch in the tournament that still has a long way to go in the 18s boys and girls’ divisions, while the girls’ 14s champion will be decided today, Bain was not to be denied.
“I think I played good. I played him better than the last two times I played him in nationals,” Bain said. “I kept more balls in play and forced him to make the errors.”
Compared to last week, Bain admitted that he went for more shots and he used his forehand to push the ball more.
“I expected it to be a close match, but I think I played very good,” Bain said. “It feels pretty good to be a champion again.”
On Thursday, Bain is scheduled to leave town for Jamaica where he will play in his next ITF junior tennis tournament. He’s hoping that he can have the same results, although the field of competitors here was very small with just two countries entered in the boys’ division - the Bahamas and Venezuela - while the two were joined by St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados in the girls.
Armbrister, on the the hand, said Bain played extremely well and he deserved to win.
“He was the better man today, so I give him the credit,” Armbrister said. “I just have to go back and train harder and get ready for the next time we meet. I am a bit disappointed, but I have to put it behind me and move forward.”
Today, Syndey Clarke has secured her berth into the girls 14s final and will play the winner of Tuesday’s semi-final between Elana Mackey and Sidney Kerr. It could be a rematch of the junior nationals if Mackey prevails. Mackey beat Clarke 6-4, 6-3 to clinch the girls 14s title last week.
In other action on Tuesday, the remainder of the first round of the 18s boys and girls singles were played with Shannon Francis, the other Bahamian in action, going down 6-3, 6-1 to Victor Hugo Anunciacao of Brazil. Also, American Emilio Segarelli def. Axel Geller of Argentina 2-6, 6-3, 6-3, Jermaine Le Grand of Aruba def. Aydan Gomex Osorio 7-6 (2), 6-0 and American Vignesh Subramanyan def. Luis Marcano 6-2, 6-0.
On the girls’ side, American Sabina Dadaciu upset No.6 seed Rika Tanaka 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, No.5 Alexandra Sabe of the USA def. Anaelle Roch of Guadeloupe 6-2, 6-2, No.7 Melissa Plambeck def. fellow USA countrywoman Caraline Patterson 6-0, 6-0 and American Julia Gabay def. American Tiffany Davis 6-0, 6-2.
The highlight of today’s second round will feature Bahamian Iesha Shepherd against Dadaciu. Shepherd had to battle back to win her first round match 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 over American Zoe Radojicic. Shepherd is the only Bahamian to survive the first round of the 18s in both the boys and girls divisions.
Shepherd, teaming up with Kayla Frosh of Barbados, was also the only Bahamian to advance out of the first round in doubles. Shepherd and Frost combined for a 6-3, 6-3 upset over the No.3 seeded girls team of Americans Hurricane Tyra Black and Julia Goldberg.
In the second round, Shepherd and Frost will meet Norway’s Lillian Gabrielsen and American Katie LaFrance, who advanced out of the first round with their 6-1, 6-2 win over the all-Bahamian combo of Sierra Donaldson and Afrika Smith.
Top seeds Americans Kriann Pierre-Louis and Naomi Idelis Waters won 6-3, 6-2 over Puerto Rico’s Paola Maza and Mexico’s Alexandra Sabe, while No.2 Rika Tanaka and Saya Usui of Japan won 6-0, 6-2 over the American team of Kianah Motosono and Zoe Radojicic.
The boys first round doubles saw all four seeds prevail. Top seed Chase Burton and Sebastian from the USA won 6-3, 6-1 over Jermaine Gomez Osorio and Luis Molina, while No.2 Salvador Mijares of Venezuela and Andrew Quiros of Spain won 6-3, 7-6 (4) over the all-Bahamian team of Shannon Francis and Joshua Turnquest.
This is now the 14th year that the ITF has brought the junior tournament to the Bahamas. Some 21 countries are participating in the tournament, which is being supervised by ITF referee Mickey Williams for the 18s and George Baxter for the 14s.