By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WITH the election of officers scheduled for Saturday, outgoing president Darnett Weir said it will be up to the new executive board of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association to decide whether or not they will keep the current Davis and Fed Cup teams in place.
Weir and her executives had selected the men’s Davis Cup team and the ladies’ Fed Cup team following the Giorgio Baldacci Open Tennis Tournament in December and the final trials in February.
However, the International Tennis Federation joined all other sporting bodies in shutting down all activities in March due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last weekend, the ITF announced that both the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions for 2020 would be postponed until 2021. “They had several postponements, so I think it was inevitable for them to postpone the Davis Cup and Fed Cup,” Weir said. “It’s good that they are only postponing the two events and not cancelling them. It’s now a question of whether or not the new executive board will continue with the same team or if they will hold trials to select a new team to compete next year.”
The BLTA will select a new executive board on Saturday at the National Tennis Centre between the hours of 3-6 pm. While Weir won’t be seeking another term, one of her council members, Perry Newton, and former veteran player Dyphany Mortier are contesting the top spot.
“I’m one week out, so it would be best for the incoming executive officers to deal with the Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams,” Weir said. “We have a rule where if you don’t play six months out, you may have a trial.
“With COVID-19 forcing us not to have any activities both locally and internationally, the new executive board will have to decide whether they will use the same team or if they will have a trial because a lot of events were cancelled.”
The BLTA selected the team of Justin Roberts, Baker Newman, Philip Major Jr and player/captain Marvin Rolle for Davis Cup and Kerrie Cartwright, Sydney Clarke, Simone Pratt and player/captain Larikah Russell for Fed Cup. “We have a really good team selected for both tournaments,” Weir said. “So hopefully they will make the best decision on behalf of the BLTA to represent the Bahamas,” Weir said. “So we will see what the new board decides.”
With the NTC opening up on Wednesday after being away from the facility since March, Weir said they are eager to see what happens when the elections take place on Saturday.
As the immediate past president and the vice chairman of the NTC Board, Weir said she intends to continue to lend her support to the sport because she wants to see the sport grow, especially from the junior development aspect.
“There’s a lot of work to do. The facility needs a lot of repairs, so I’m looking forward to helping out and maybe in the background with the BLTA board, if the new officers allow me,” she summed up.
“I will still be here active because I love tennis and I want to see tennis grow. So my interest will be basically in community-based events, so I will see how it works out.”