Tennis: Bermuda Defeats US Virgin Islands

June 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

On the final day of competition at the Davis Cup in Costa Rica, Bermuda took to the courts against U.S. Virgin Islands in a battle to avoid relegation, as the losing team would drop down to Group IV next year.

Gavin Manders started the day in the #2 position, playing against Russell Armstrong. Armstrong appeared to have an abdominal injury, calling for the trainer after only 3 games with Manders in total control. Armstrong attempted to continue after the medical timeout, but only lasted two more games, retiring at 0-5.

This meant that the next match started earlier then expected, with Bermuda needing to win one of the remaining two matches to maintain their status in Group III.

Neal Towlson was matched against Tomas Del Olmo in the #1 position. The match would begin with both players holding serve. Towlson would break his opponent’s serve in the pivotal seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. He would hold serve twice more to win the set 6-4.

Towlson continued his steady play in the second set, serving well and moving Del Olmo around with his ground strokes. Towlson would get an early break of serve and race to a 5-3 lead. With Del Olmo serving, Towlson would break his serve a final time to win the match 6-4, 6-3.

This would win Bermuda the tie and send US Virgin Islands down to Group IV next year.

With the doubles left to play and the tie already decided, youngsters Trey Mallory and Tariq Simons took to the court for their first time together at the senior level against Del Olmo and Nicholas Bass.

The young Bermudian pair battled intensely, both looking for their maiden doubles win at Davis Cup. The opponents proved to be too steady on key moments, pulling off the match 7-6 (8), 6-4.”

National Tennis Director Richard Mallory said, “I’m extremely proud of the team. As the National Tennis Director I can rightly say that I see growth from last year to this year.

“With the BLTA’s objective of rebuilding we have senior player Gavin Manders who agrees with our philosophy and has taken a leadership role to help guide our younger players. There is also growth within the coaching staff which includes Steve Bean and former player Jenson Bascome who I see taking over as Davis Cup coach in the near future.

“Moving forward I believe that this will be a winning formula that will help us gain promotion.”

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