Sunday, Dec 9, 2018
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Bahamians excelling on Futures Tour

Justin Roberts in action. BLTA

Just last week, Bahamian tennis player Baker Newman was successful in getting into main draw play on the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) F2 Futures Circuit.

Baker, who graduated from Vanderbilt University this year, participated in ITF F2 Futures event in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, and successfully manoeuvred himself through the qualifying rounds. He had three wins in the qualifying rounds, defeating Argentinian Feitt 6-3 and 6-1; Colombian Carlos Andres Sepulveda Navarro who was forced to retire in the second set; and then defeating American Preston Brown 6-2 and 6-4 to get into the main draw. Against Navarro, Newman was leading 6-2 and 3-0 before Navarro retired.

In main draw action, Baker fell to sixth seeded Alejandro Tabilo, of Chile, in the first round 6-3 and 6-3.

Bahamians Kevin MajorJr. and Philip Major Jr. also participated in the tournament and played well in qualifying matches, but were unable to get into the main draw.

Kevin Major defeated American Matthew Mendez in the first round of qualifying, 2-6, 7-6(3) and 3-1 retired. In the second round, he overcame top seeded Alex Blumenberg, of Brazil, 7-6(3) and 6-0; but in the third round of qualifying, he lost to Simon Freund, of Sweden, 7-6(2) and 6-2.

Philip Major defeated Stefan Frljanic, of Canada, in the first round of qualifying, 3-2 retired. In the second round, he got past American Christopher Rosensteel in straight sets, 6-3 and 7-6(5); and in the third round of qualifying, he fell to second seeded Milen Ianakiev, of Germany, in straight sets, 7-6(3) and 6-3.

The event is being played on the hard outdoor courts of the Centro Nacional de Tenis in Santo Domingo.

Also seeing action in ITF Futures play this week is Justin Roberts. He is currently playing at the USA F35 Futures event at Florida State University’s (FSU) Indoor Tennis Facility in Tallahassee, Florida, USA.

After getting through the qualifying rounds, Roberts won his opening round match in main draw action and is into the second round.

In qualifying, he defeated American John Tierney in his opening round match, 6-0 and 6-0. Roberts, seeded 16th, came back to defeat fourth seeded American Tyler Mercier in the second round of qualifying, 7-5 and 6-4.

In the first round in main draw play, Roberts needed three sets to get past Enzo Wallart, of France, 2-6, 7-6(4) and 6-2. He was scheduled to play American Paul C. Oosterbaan in the round of 16 yesterday but the result was unavailable up to press time.

“The Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) congratulates our young tennis players on the success they are currently having on the Futures Tour,” read a BLTA statement. “We look forward to future tennis accomplishments from Baker, Kevin, Philip and Justin. The future of professional tennis is bright for The Bahamas.”

Just last weekend, Roberts received the Leevan Sands Courage Award at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s National Sports Awards at the SuperClubs Breezes. Also, Newman and Philip Major were both recognized as members of the 2018 Davis Cup Team which won the ‘Team of the Year’ Award at the National Sports Awards.

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