Number four road tennis seed Cherene Ward and Juliet Worrell thrilled the fans in an exciting match when the Barbados Co-Operative Credit Union Monarchs of the Court continued at the Big Rock Arena, Spring Garden last night.
In the opening game, Worrell, the creator of A Touch of Class Road Tennis Competition for women, showed she is not only an effective organiser of the sport but also a formidable opponent on the courts.
Worrell took an early lead in the opening stages of the first game and was in the pole position when service changed at 3-2. Ward fought back and was leading Worrell at 8-7 when service changed the second time. Ward surged ahead at 13-12, but Worrell played a deft back-arm shot to lock the game at 13.
By then the spectators were caught up in the action taking place on the court as Ward and Worrell made a valiant attempt to take control of the game. Both players were content to play the ball around the court as they searched for chinks in each other’s armour.
The game started to see-saw, it was locked at 16, a point latter Worrell took the lead but Ward refused to let her gain the advantage and locked it at 17. Ward held the lead when service changed at 18-17. Worrell gained two points and locked it at 19. By then the veteran player had gained the advantage over her younger opponent, and after locking the game at 20, she won it at 24-22.
In the second game, Ward showed why she is currently ranked at number four among the female players on the island. Worrell led 3-2 at the change of the first service. It was the last occasion she held the advantage during the game.
Ward won five successive points to hold the upper hand at the second service change. She maintained the lead when service changed at 11-9 and 13-17 and strolled to victory at 21-15 to set up the third game to decide the winner of the match.
The decider was another thrilling encounter. Ward held the lead when service changed at 3-2. She kept the lead at 6-4 and 8-7 until Worrell locked the game at 8 and 9 and took over the lead at 11-9.
Both players tried hard to gain the advantage. As a result they were playing several exciting shots all around the court. Ward was back in charge at 17-13. The score was 20-18 when Worrell hit the ball into the nets and Ward won the game 21-18.
Earlier, Kyana Holder after losing to number two seed Sheldene Walrond on the opening night of the tournament, defeated Maudlyn Blunt 23-21, 21-15 in a ladies singles match. The previous night, her mother the formidable Kim Holder, the number one ladies seed in the tournament, defeated the stylish Abigail Haynes 21-12, 21-15.
On Thursday night Holder was at the courtside giving instructions to her offspring and handing her water. After a shaky start in which she committed several unforced errors, the teenager settled down and won her first match of the tournament. Even though she does not have the imposing physique of her mother, Kyana played several sizzling smashes similar to those played by Kim.
In another ladies match number three seed Rachel Smith had an easy 21-14, 21-15 victory over Margo Lorde.
Marlon Edwards defeated Corey Mayers 21-13, 21-19 in the only men’s singles match of the night.
The tournament has been severely affected by the weather and as a result, two mixed double games involving players who played the previous night were contested last night. In the first match, Sandra Bailey and Alexander Clarke defeated Michael Jean and Estherphyne Holder 21-18, 21-15 and Asabi Downey and Adrian Scott defeated Jerry Harris and Miranda Manning 21-15, 21-12.