Ten champions crowned at 2013 SVGTA Junior Tennis Tournament
January 14, 2014

Ten champions crowned at 2013 SVGTA Junior Tennis Tournament

Imani King proved that, currently, he is the leading boys tennis player in St Vincent and the Grenadines, following the conclusion of the 2013 St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association Junior Tennis Tournament on Saturday, January 4.{{more}}

In a pulsating Boys 18 Singles final between King and Tahj Ballantyne that morning, Ballantyne took advantage of a lacklustre performance by King to win the first set 6-1.

Then came the King’s response. Serving at 3-3 and down love-40 in the second set, King held his aggressiveness in check, while his opponent committed numerous unforced errors King the point and went on to win the second set 6-4.

With the match now going into the third set tie-break, the pair traded breathtaking rallies and attempted to out-think each other, but Imani King did not flinch, winning the third set 7-5, and the Boys 18 title.

Later in the day, he teamed up with Akeem Guy to defeat Tahj Ballantyne and Sebastien Cyrus, 7-5 6-3, to take the Boys 18 Doubles Final.

On January 3, King and Ballantyne met, and despite a courageous fight by Ballantyne, nursing an injured right knee, King saw him off in swift time to take the Boys 16 Singles title.

Both players played quality tennis, but as the game progressed and realizing that Ballantyne was practically playing on one leg, King grew in confidence, and began peppering his opponent with vicious cross-court shots, many of them winners.

Ballantyne did not help his case, playing too many easy winners for his opponent to pounce on, while himself committing numerous unforced errors and serving many double faults.

King himself was guilty of serving many double faults, but made up for these indiscretions with superb groundstrokes, which left his opponent frustrated.

With victory inevitable and Ballantyne’s knee paining him even more, which restricted his movements, Imani King stroked his way to a 6-3 6-3 Boys 16 Singles championship victory.

On Thursday, January 2, Anestasia White won the Girls 12 Singles title with a 4-2 4-1 defeat of Myka Williams on court 2, while the Girls 16 Singles final between the Lyttle twin sisters of Luka and Denee took place on the morning of January 3.

Denee took the title with a 7-6 6-4 defeat of her sister, following which another twin sisters clash took place – this time between the Benn twin sisters, Armalia and Gabrielle.

It was the Girls 14 Singles Final, and the Benn twin sisters were meeting each other for the second time in as many weeks. Gabrielle stormed to a 6-3 first set win, but Armalia had other ideas and took the third 6-3.

With the third set being a tie-break, Gabrielle took full advantage of a hesitant Armalia, who was slow getting back to centre court. In doing so she left wide-open spaces in the court for her sister to capitalize on, which she did. Gabrielle won the Girls 14 Singles title with a 7-4 third set victory.

Despite his brother Sebastien losing in the Boys 16 Singles semi-finals to Imani King, Alexander Cyrus brought silverware into the family with a 6-0 6-3 victory over Arnel Horne, to win the Boys 14 Singles title.

Then Alexander Cyrus and Arnel Horne teamed up to take on the duo of Miguel Francis and Richard Hoyte in the Boys 14 Doubles final, Cyrus and Horne winning 6-2 6-1.

Denee and Luka Lyttle again met on the morning of January 4; this time it was the Girls 18 Singles, with Luka winning 7-5 6-3, preventing her sister from doing the Singles, double.

Then came the little matter of twin versus twin clash – the Benn twin sisters of Armalia and Gabrielle taking on the Lyttle twin sisters of Denee and Luka in the Girls 18 Doubles Final.

The Benn sisters took the first set 6-3, with the second taken by the Lyttle sisters 6-4. Then, serving match point at 6-4, the Benn twins lost double match points to square the set at 6-all.

The Lyttle twins then took the lead 7-6, but the Benn twins were not to be denied, levelling the set at 7-all. However, two mistakes at the net saw the next two point won by the Lyttle twins, to take the third set 9-7, and the Girls 18 Doubles title.

The elation by the Lyttle twins and the tears by the Benn twins were evident of what the match and the title meant to them.

The crowning of ten champions then took place at the closing ceremony, which followed as the 2013 St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association Junior Tennis Tournament rallied to a close at the National Tennis Centre courts at Villa. (Robertson S. Henry/robertsons.henry@gmail.com)