Russell Moseley gave a stellar performance as he came from a set down and emerged as champion, during the men’s singles final at the 2020 Insurance Corporation of Barbados Senior Nationals Open played at the National Tennis Centre in Wildey last night.
The 35-year-old Moseley who has not won the title in recent memory and once held a place on the Barbados Davis Cup team, showed he still had something to offer at this level by registering a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory against last year’s champion Stephen Slocombe Jr. During the post-match interview, Moseley, the number one seed for this tournament, dedicated his win to late coach George Grant. Describing it as one of the best tournaments he has played in at this level, Moseley said during the match he decided to give it his all because there was nothing to lose.
“I came up with a game plan that I could stick with, not trying to overpress or anything like that, just kind of take my time and be a little more consistent. My coach and coaches helped me out a lot with setting up the game plans and just trying to play as many balls as possible. Stay consistent and that really helped me to get a rhythm into the match and it kind of threw him off a little bit. Then once I started going, I just kind of held on to the momentum and that was really good for me, “ Moseley said.
The two best of three sets showdown actually began last Sunday but got postponed until yesterday because of the rain. It is safe to say the downpour last weekend rained on Slocombe’s parade as he was unable to find that wonderful form again.
Slocombe who won the men’s open doubles with Davis Cup teammate Kaipo Marshall and the mixed doubles open with Gabrielle Leslie had everything going for him in the opening set of the men’s singles.
All of Slocombe’s serves, forehand and volleys were all on point that day. Fast forward to yesterday and nothing was seemingly going in his favour.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY, the 17-year-old Slocombe said: “Starting back it was hard to catch a rhythm and playing the opponent’s weaknesses tonight [yesterday] is a whole different story to Sunday. The atmosphere was different, everything was different tonight.”
On resumption of play yesterday Moseley led 2-0 and had the advantage but Slocombe came from behind to take control at 3-2. It was at the moment when Slocombe for some strange reason looked unsettled and struggled particularly with his serves.
Moseley, of course, used that to his advantage as he went ahead 5-3 and needed set points to force a decisive game three. That is of course before the rain came down and halted proceedings.
Play resumed a couple of minutes later and at love-all in the sixth game, Slocombe won the first points but Russell with some absolute great serves closed out the set and equalised the match 1-1.
Volleying and returning serves are two of Moseley’s favourite things to do on a tennis court and he did those effectively against Slocombe.
Moseley continued with the momentum into the decisive set and captured a 1-0 advantage. Suddenly, however, he shifted from his normal game to backhand slices that failed to make it past the net. Slocombe began to recover at that stage and was able to earn a couple of much-needed points for a 2-1 lead.
Well, at least so it appeared, until Moseley went back to his original game plan and scored those lovely drop shots in the frontcourt. Slocombe tried responding at times by sprinting towards the frontcourt but ended up reaching in vain in what was a tough match for him against a confident-looking Moseley.
Following the match, there were presentations of awards for the winners and runners-up in each category. Gold medallist in the women’s open singles was Hannah Chambers who also came out on top in the women’s doubles with her teammate Melena Lopez.
The men’s Over-35 singles was captured by Ryan Moseley. Not yet finished, Moseley also came out on top when he teamed up with doubles teammate Rick Taurel in the men’s Over-35 doubles.
Donna Gibbs won the women’s Over-45 singles and also partnered with Sue Rogers and clinched the women’s doubles title in that division. Junior King claimed the men’s Over-45 singles while in the men’s doubles title for that category honours went to Craig Smith and Lloyd Slocombe.
For the men’s and women’s Over-55 singles, Craig Smith and Marvo Jemmott won. The men’s Over-55 doubles went to Colin Murray and Harry MacKenzie while the women’s doubles winners were Sonia Grant and Rosie Roach.
The 2020 Insurance Corporation of Barbados Senior Nationals Open came to an end yesterday with participants reaching their prizes. [email protected]