By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
RAIN forced the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association to postpone the second day of the Giorgio Baldacci National Open Tennis Tournament. But BLTA president Darnette Weir said it won’t affect the competition of the tournament this weekend.
“We will pick up the action tomorrow (today) at 9am, but it won’t affect the tournament because the ladies are into the semi-finals and would have had a day off,” Weir said.
“The men are into the quarter-final and those who haven’t played sufficient matches, they would end up playing two matches so that we can get to the final on Saturday.”
The tournament, which also serves as the qualifier for the men’s Davis Cup and the ladies’ Fed Cup teams, got started with the main draw on Wednesday at the National Tennis Centre.
Defending men’s champion Donte Armbrister got eliminated 6-3, 6-0 by Spencer Newman.
Number three seed Philip Major Jr won 6-1, 6-0 over McGregor Woodside and No.4 Justin Lunn pulled off a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Rodney Carey Jr.
In the other men’s matches played, veteran Marvin Rolle, a player/coach of the Davis Cup team, advanced with a 6-0, 6-0 decision over Archie Burrows, teenager Jacobi Bain also blanked Cory Francis 6-0, 6-0 and Perry Newton won the first set 6-0 and was leading 2-0 in the second set when Patrick Brown was forced to retire. Top seed Baker Newman got a bye and will play Bain in the quarter-finals, while No.2 seed Kevin Major Jr will meet Newton.
The other two matches will pit Philip Major Jr against Rolle and Spencer Newman is slated to take on Lunn.
The four matches on the ladies’ side all took place on Wednesday with top seed Kerrie Cartwright winning 6-0, 6-1 over collegian Afrika Smith; No.2 seed and defending champion Sydney Clarke knocking off No.2 qualifier Kinza Johnson 6-1, 6-0; top qualifier Elana Mackey staying alive with a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Perjae Major and veteran player/coach Larikah Russell ousting collegian Sierra Donaldson 6-0, 6-3.
“As expected, it’s been very competitive so far and hopefully the best player on that day will prevail,” Weir said. “We are expecting the tournament to continue to be competitive because of the players involved in the men and ladies draw.”
From the Nationals this weekend, the BLTA will select the first top two players to join Justin Roberts, who got an exemption based on his International Tennis Federation’s ranking, to the team that will represent the Bahamas at the Davis Cup tie in April.
Another trial will take place for the fourth and final spot before the team heads off to play. Their destination has not yet been confirmed.
The BLTA is expected to select a five-member team based on the performances at the tournament for the Fed Cup scheduled for April 10-13 in Panama City, Panama.
The Bahamas will join Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panam and Uruguay as they compete in two pools, one of four teams and one of three teams. The winners of each pool will go to the playoff to determine which nation will advance to the Americas Group One for 2021.
The other promotion will come from the other half of the tie, set for June 10-13 in La Paz, Bolivia where Barbados, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad & Tobago will make up the field.