#By TENAJH SWEETING
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#BAHAMIAN tennis players got their feet wet at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junkanoo Bowl tournament which started this past Monday.
#A total of 19 juniors have competed so far at the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association’s (BLTA) National Tennis Centre (NTC).
#Athletes are competing from 11 different countries, including The Bahamas, Hong Kong, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, US Virgin Islands, Canada and the United States of America.
#Yesterday at the NTC, Bahamians competed in both singles and doubles competition leading up to the quarterfinals.
#The singles competition wrapped up, meanwhile, some of the doubles matches got delayed due to some rainy weather conditions on the tennis courts.
#In the second round of the boys singles competition, The Bahamas’ Jackson Mactaggart took down the USA’s Ayden Fraire in two sets 6-2, 7-5.
#However, he followed up his second round singles win with a loss to the USA’s Alexander Farias in two sets 6-1,6-0.
#Michael Major Jr, dropped his singles second round match in a competitive three sets to the USA’s Ezequiel de la Plaza.
#The USA’s competitor won 6-3, 7-6(6) and 6-3.
#After punching her ticket to the girls’ singles quarterfinals, Sarai Clarke took a loss to Natalie Oliver of the USA 6-0,6-1.
#Sierra Rodgers got the best of her USA opponent Sophie Alarcon in the second round of the girls singles. She defeated Alarcon in a three-set battle, 6-2, 5-7, 6-0.
#However, after booking her ticket to the quarterfinals, she fell to Dain Lee of Korea in two sets 6-3, 6-2.
#Rodgers talked about her experience at the competition.
#“This morning I felt like it was very well, it was pretty good honestly. I was pretty consistent and had a positive attitude which helped me a lot,” she said.
#Despite the loss in the quarterfinals, Rodgers is enjoying the ITF tournament so far.
#“So far it has been really good. I got to make a lot of new friends and I love the competition and it is really good to see other people from different countries play with us instead of playing against each other to give us more variety,” she added.
#Rodgers also competed alongside Saphirre Ferguson in the first round of the girls doubles.
#Although the duo lost to the USA’s Natalie Oliver and Alexandra Wolf 6-0,6-0 in both sets, Ferguson said they could have been more focused in the match but in the end they just decided to have fun and enjoy the experience despite it not being the result they wanted.
#The Freeport doubles team of Jalisa Clarke and Rachel Thompson represented the Bahamas well.
#The girls beat the USA’s Alarcon and Bahamas’ Kaylee Kanuka 7-6(3) and 6-0. Both girls were excited to talk about the win.
#“It was funny, hectic, and very nerve-wracking but I have a good partner so that helped me,” Thomspon said.
#She added that the competition had her very nervous but she made it through the experience nonetheless.
#Clarke, her teammate, said her strategy was to set up her serves and take over in moments when her teammate needed her most. Overall, she said her first time at the tournament was good and it felt great to experience new players and meet persons that played exactly like her.
#In more doubles action, The Bahamas’ team of Cohen Knowles and Dentry Mortimer came up short against the USA’s Christopher Condoianis and Ayden Fraire in two sets. The USA doubles team won 6-1,6-3.
#With the semifinals for the singles and quarterfinals for the doubles beginning today at the NTC, The Bahamas’ best chance of advancing to the finals lies with the doubles competitors.
#Matchups start today at 9am.