The Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association’s (BLTA) Giorgio Baldacci National Tennis Tournament wrapped up this past Saturday at the BLTA’s National Tennis Center with Donte Armbrister and Sydney Clarke winning the overall titles.
Armbrister played the first game of the day, taking on Justin Lunn. This was the second time he played Lunn. The first time they played, Lunn won.
Armbrister is the number-one-ranked junior player in the country. Lunn was a part of the 2017 Davis Cup team for The Bahamas.
The championship match between Armbrister and Lunn lasted over two hours. Lunn won the first set 7-5, but lost the match, 5-7, 7-6(7) and 6-3.
“The game was very physical. I was tired getting to the second and the third set. Lunn kept on me, but I just had to fight and wait on my opportunity,” Armbrister said.
Armbrister, a 12th grader at Temple Christian School, said it’s good to be declared the champion on the men’s side, ending the year as the winner of the Giorgio Baldacci nationals. He said it will be difficult to travel as a member of next year’s Davis Cup team, seeing that he is in grade 12 and school takes priority.
Physical conditioning is something that Armbrister hopes to work on for next year.
The women’s championship got underway right after the men’s championship game wrapped up.
It was 2017 Fed Cup team member Sydney Clarke going up against 2018 Fed Cup team member Sierra Donaldson.
Nationally number-one-ranked junior female player Clarke won easily in straight sets. She prevailed, 6-2 and 6-3.
Clarke is an 11th grade student at Windsor Preparatory, while Donaldson is a freshman at Lee University. She is on her collegiate tennis team at Lee.
Clarke said: “It feels really good. It is the last tournament at home. I recently won a junior tournament a couple weeks ago, so I feel really proud of myself to take home the title for the end of the year tournament. The year has been good for me. I was able to travel and collect a lot of titles along the way. I went to Trinidad and Tobago, and Antigua. I made it to the finals and won both singles and doubles. This year was one of my best years so far.”
Clarke prevailed at the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Bahamas Goombay Splash Bowl at the BLTA’s National Tennis Center at the end of November, defeating American Leyden Games in the final, 6-2, 3-6 and 6-1; she also won both singles and doubles at the Tobago Jr. ITF Championships this year.
As for what she intends to work on for next year, Clarke said mental toughness and physical fitness. She hopes to be ranked in the top 50 in the world junior rankings by the end of next year.