n Photo by Ras Mykkal
Gavin Manders was back to his winning ways when he won the Deloitte Open at the weekend.
* Photo by Ras Mykkal. Gavin Manders was back to his winning ways when he won the Deloitte Open at the weekend.
n Photo by Ras Mykkal
Gavin Manders was back to his winning ways when he won the Deloitte Open at the weekend.
* Photo by Ras Mykkal. Gavin Manders was back to his winning ways when he won the Deloitte Open at the weekend.
By James Whittaker
jwhittaker@bermudasun.bm
Bermuda’s top tennis player Gavin Manders claimed the first domestic title of the year and then targeted Davis Cup glory for Bermuda.
Manders, who went through the whole of last season unbeaten, defeated David Thomas in straight-sets in the final of the Deloitte Open at Pomander Gate on Saturday.
On his way to victory he also beat Neal Towlson and survived a titanic semi-final against improving Naim Azhar.
The four will form a team of rivals to compete in Puerto Rico at the Davis Cup next month.
Manders, who returned to Bermuda last month, said all three of his young teammates had made significant strides since going away to play or train overseas.
But he insisted they would have to up their game even further if they wanted to take his number one spot.
“Early in the season, this was their best chance to get me. They have had a lot of match practice at college and I’m still in the early stages of training.
“I think they needed to get me in this tournament while I was still a bit raw. I’m going to be training hard now all season. I’m determined not to lose a game in domestic tennis.”
Manders has more modest targets for the Davis Cup. Last year he won every game in the tournament to help Bermuda win promotion to Division Three.
This time the challenge will be to win a match.
No Bermudian has won a match at that level in the history of the competition.
“We have to take it one step at a time,” said Manders of the Davis Cup challenge, which pits Bermuda against Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Aruba and Costa Rica.
“The thing we are looking to do is to win that first match. If we can do that we can change the whole approach to the tournament. We have a chance to stay up there.
“We want to make sure we at least get into a play-off with a chance to stay up.”
Encouraged
Manders is particularly encouraged by the form of David Thomas and Azhar.
“Both of them have improved so much from playing college tennis. Naim and I had a three hour game in the semi-final.”
He was impressed too with the form of Thomas, who beat Jenson Bascome in the semis before succumbing to Manders 6-4, 6-3 in the final.
Neal Towlson, the 16-year-old who has been training at the Evrett Tennis Academy in Florida, also had a good tournament.
“Neal was a real battle. These guys are all in tune and hopefully we can do well in the Davis Cup.”
The team is currently training seven days a week at Elbow Beach and Port Royal in preparation for the tournament and hope to attend a training camp in Florida in early July. nBy James Whittaker
Bermuda’s top tennis player Gavin Manders claimed the first domestic title of the year and then targeted Davis Cup glory for Bermuda.
Manders, who went through the whole of last season unbeaten, defeated David Thomas in straight-sets in the final of the Deloitte Open at Pomander Gate on Saturday.
On his way to victory he also beat Neal Towlson and survived a titanic semi-final against improving Naim Azhar.
The four will form a team of rivals to compete in Puerto Rico at the Davis Cup next month.
Manders, who returned to Bermuda last month, said all three of his young teammates had made significant strides since going away to play or train overseas.
But he insisted they would have to up their game even further if they wanted to take his number one spot.
“Early in the season, this was their best chance to get me. They have had a lot of match practice at college and I’m still in the early stages of training.
“I think they needed to get me in this tournament while I was still a bit raw. I’m going to be training hard now all season. I’m determined not to lose a game in domestic tennis.”
Manders has more modest targets for the Davis Cup. Last year he won every game in the tournament to help Bermuda win promotion to Division Three.
This time the challenge will be to win a match.
No Bermudian has won a match at that level in the history of the competition.
“We have to take it one step at a time,” said Manders of the Davis Cup challenge, which pits Bermuda against Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Aruba and Costa Rica.
“The thing we are looking to do is to win that first match. If we can do that we can change the whole approach to the tournament. We have a chance to stay up there.
“We want to make sure we at least get into a play-off with a chance to stay up.”
Encouraged
Manders is particularly encouraged by the form of David Thomas and Azhar.
“Both of them have improved so much from playing college tennis. Naim and I had a three hour game in the semi-final.”
He was impressed too with the form of Thomas, who beat Jenson Bascome in the semis before succumbing to Manders 6-4, 6-3 in the final.
Neal Towlson, the 16-year-old who has been training at the Evrett Tennis Academy in Florida, also had a good tournament.
“Neal was a real battle. These guys are all in tune and hopefully we can do well in the Davis Cup.”
The team is currently training seven days a week at Elbow Beach and Port Royal in preparation for the tournament and hope to attend a training camp in Florida in early July.