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Tennis duo hopes to get nod for Fed Cup

Nikkita Fountain and Larikah Russell are hoping that the executive members in the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association(BLTA)will give them the opportunity to represent The Bahamas at this year’s Fed Cup tournament, in the doubles segment.

The duo, which competed in the doubles main draw at the recently staged Bahamas Women’s Open, believes that their first round loss was the spark that they needed to light their way. Russell and Fountain fell 4-6, 6-4(11-9)to Sarah Borwell and Liga Dekmeijere.

Fountain said:”I think it was a good opportunity being that this was the first time that we ever had a tournament of that caliber here in The Bahamas. I was proud to be a Bahamian and proud to have been given an opportunity to represent my country.

“It might not have prepared us fully for Fed Cup, but it definitely gave us the confidence for the tournament. We are ready now to compete at any high level tournament. The fact that we didn’t practice together and still was able to play good boosts us even further. IT was unfortunate that we lost after many match points, these things happen but we just have to move forward to the next time.”

Neither Russell nor Fountain was selected by the BLTA to compete at the Fed Cup tournament played in Ecuador, last year. The team, which finished tied for third in the Americas Zone Group II, consisted of Kerrie Cartwright, Gabrielle Moxey and Simone Pratt.

The Bahamas closed the tournament with a 3-2 win/loss record, falling to Ecuador and Peru. The three wins were over Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic. Play in the Americas Zone Group II will be staged May 16-22, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The round-robin format tournament will feature some 11 countries inclusive of The Bahamas, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. The two top nations will be promoted to Americas Zone Group I for play in 2012.

At last year’s tournament, young Cartwright closed with a 3-2 win/loss record in singles and 3-1 in doubles. Both Moxey and Pratt took to the court in doubles as well, Moxey finishing with a perfect 4-0 record and Pratt 1-1.

Moxey was the only one of the three that did not compete in singles competition at the Bahamas Women’s Open. Both Cartwright and Pratt fell in the qualifying rounds. Cartwright’s loss was to Piia Suomalainen 6-1 and 6-1; and Pratt’s to Olga Savchuk 6-2 and 6-0. Also taking part in the singles qualifying draw was Russell, who fell 6-0 and 6-2 to Heather Watson of Great Britain.

Russell said:”It was a good opportunity for us to play at that level because the level was pretty high and we have never played at so high before. So right now we know that we are able to compete with the best in the world.

“Hopefully, if we are given another opportunity, we will prove that we can win on that level as well. That(The Bahamas Women’s Open)was my first tournament on the year. Knowing that I did not play any tournaments leading up to it, I think I did well. All I need now are more opportunities to compete with top tennis players and I should be fine.”

The BLTA has yet to release the names of players who will represent The Bahamas at the Fed Cup.

Russell and Cartwright are the gold medalist of last year’s Central American and Caribbean(CAC)Games.

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