Valiant effort for Roberts falls short at Pan Ams

LIMA, Peru — The tennis segment at the 18th Pan American Games for The Bahamas ended on Wednesday when Justin Roberts bowed out, 6-4 and 6-2, to Jose Hernandez of the Dominican Republic.

A resigned, but determined Roberts said after the match that he has to arrange a career shift and begin playing a similar caliber of opponents.

“Yes, I have to start playing regularly, players of the standard here. He (Hernandez) is a very good player but I can play at this level. I was right there with him in the first set. I got broken early in the first set and fought back. In the second set my serve wasn’t working. I couldn’t get enough of my first serves in. He took advantage of that,” said Roberts. “It was a good run though. I’ve had a long year so far. I’ll take a bit of a break and then head back to the futures circuit.”

The indication on Wednesday certainly was that he can hold his own playing players of Hernandez’s status.

The Dominican Republic star is seeded No. 8 in men’s singles at the Pan Am Games, and for much of the first set Roberts performed valiantly and kept the action even.

Roberts served first and quickly fell behind on a service break by Hernandez. However, the Bahamian broke right back. A nip and tuck battle ensued with Roberts utilizing a powerful serve, strong returns and a few drop shots. Hernandez however managed to maintain an edge and prevailed at 6-4.

Roberts’ big weapon, his serve, deserted him in the second set and Hernandez was able to close out at 6-2.

So, tennis at the 18th Pan Am Games is over for Team Bahamas. The focus now goes to athletics, swimming and judo. Chef de Mission D’Arcy Rahming Sr. informed that 18 track and field athletes are due in Lima, Peru, on August 2 and the rest of the delegation should arrive by August 5.

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