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  Lawn Tennis

Defending Champ Growing In Confidence

 
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

Defending men's champion in the NCB Capital Markets Jamaica Open Tennis Championships, Hayden Lewis, admits growing in confidence after racking up a second impressive victory on yesterday's third day at Liguanea Club.

Lewis needed a mere 33 minutes to book his place in the quarter-finals with an easy 6-0, 6-0 win over 16-year-old Wolmer's Boys' student, Roshane Allen. The Barbadian had defeated Stefan Wilson 6-0, 6-0 on Monday's opening day.

"Each match that you play and you win, especially with convincing results, your confident builds," Lewis revealed to The Gleaner. "But you always have to have the confidence beforehand as well, to really push yourself through."

Lewis, who has an ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) ranking of 1173, believes there is always room for improvement, especially with the likes of No. 1 seed Tim Smyczek, who has an ATP ranking of 130 featuring in this year's tournament.

"I think the main thing is not to get complacent with how these two first matches have gone and understand that the next two rounds are going to be tougher," the 26-year-old said. "Physically, I am fine. But I have to be mentally prepared for the challenge."

Graced the court

Lewis' quarter-final opponent is likely to be Jamaica's No. 1 seed Damion Johnson, who was slated to play Atton Burrell in last night's late game.

The women graced the court for the first time yesterday, with No. 4 seed Khalilah Johnson defeating Immaculate High's Lean Smyle in straight sets 6-0, 6-2.

Johnson, who had taken an 11-year break from the sport before returning last year August, is keen to get back her groove.

"I definitely would love to win the tournament, but I am more focused on getting my game back, getting my head game back and psychologically getting comfortable in tournaments," Johnson disclosed. "I just want to have fun."

At press time, No. 3 female seed Megan Jones was opposing Shellita Haughton, and No. 7 men's seed Dominic Pagon was doing battle with Gwayne Coxx.

In the late games, No. 6 seed Johnson was down to play Burrell and No. 8 seed Brandon Burke was up to meet close friend Yussuf Migoko.

Today's action is slated to serve off at 5 p.m. with six matches to be contested, included two men's doubles. Both the male No. 1 seed Smyczek and female No. 1 seed Ffion Fletcher will be in action at 6:30 p.m.

ryon.jones@gleanerjm.com

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