Bicknell, Stephens still in ITF hunt
Only two players with Jamaican connections, Blaise Bicknell and Micheala Stephens, are still in the running for titles in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Jamaica Junior tournament, which is taking place at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre at Piccadilly Road in Kingston.
Yesterday, Bicknell swept New Zealand’s David Kennerley out of the competition, while Stephens defeated Selena Bird, a United States-based Jamaican.
Bicknell, who is the No. 1-ranked male player in the tournament, had an easy day as he defeated Kennerley 6-0, 6-0. It was an easy outing for Bicknell, but although he will start as the favourite when he goes up against Alexander Bucurescu from Romania today, he will quite likely have to work harder for victory. Yesterday, Bucurescu looked good as he defeated Kaj Quirijns from Switzerland 6-4, 6-1.
Stephens had to pull out all the stops to take the first set against Bird, 7-6 (7). Surprisingly, however, she was completely dominant in the second set, which she won 6-1. Today she will go up against Kathryn Treiber from the US, who looked impressive while defeating No. 5-seeded Noa Dujardin from France 6-0, 6-3.
The tournament runs until Saturday with two sessions each day, starting at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.