BLTA Giorgio Baldacci Open Nationals men’s semifinal set for today

As of Wednesday, December 21, 2022

#THE men’s semifinal of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association’s 2022 Giorgio Baldacci Open Nationals is scheduled to be played today at the National Tennis Centre between two familiar names and two surprise entries from Grand Bahama.

#On one half of the draw, top seed Kevin Major Jr will take on veteran Davis Cupper Marvin Rolle and the other will be a showcase between former Davis Cupper Rodney Carey and Denali Nottage.

#In one bracket of yesterday’s quarterfinal match, Major Jr stayed spotless in his two matches with a 6-0, 6-0 whitewashing of high schooler Dentry Mortimer Jr, while Rolle got by Anthony Burrows Jr in identical scores of 6-1, 6-1.

#The other bracket saw Carey Jr outlast collegian Jacobi Bain 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) and Nottage made easy work of Savano Hanna 6-0, 6-0.

#From the tournament, the BLTA will begin the process of selecting its men’s team for the 2023 Davis Cup competition with the two finalists given the first two spots.

#Rolle, at 39, is the longest serving member on the team, having not only travelled as a player, but also a captain.

#He admits that while he’s glad to be in a position to get another spot on the team, it won’t be easy facing Major Jr.

#“He should win the match because he’s out there playing,” said Rolle.

#“I’m going to go out there and give it 100 percent. Hopefully it will be a good match and he won’t blow me out. He’s still in his 20s and I’m almost 40. Hopefully it would be a good match.”

#Against Burrows Jr, Rolle said he just wanted to get through the match as quickly as possible.

#“AJ is one of the top guys coming up. He played well,” Rolle said.

#“I guess it was my experience over the years that really pulled me through the match.”

#In his match, Major Jr said he didn’t want to exert too much energy playing Dentry Mortimer Jr, a student at St Augustine’s College.

#“The match was pretty much straight forward. I played another top junior, but I’m still holding it down and I will continue to hold it down for as long as I can,” said Major Jr, who is now training in Tampa, Florida and is back on the circuit after a three-year hiatus.

#“When these youngsters do decide to enter the pros, I want to be there to help them. But for now, playing against them, it’s all business. It’s all business whenever I come here.”

#Looking ahead to the semi today against Rolle, Major Jr said he’s aware of the experience that he brings to the match, but everybody is on his radar, and he knows he’s on their radar as well.

#“I’m just prepared to do whatever it takes to win,” he said. “We will let the dust settle and when it settles, we will see who the winner is.”

#Should he get past Rolle, Major Jr said it doesn’t matter who emerges between Carey Jr and Nottage. He claims that he’s only here to take care of business.

#In his quarter-final match against Bain, Carey Jr had the longest and most exciting encounter of the day.

#In the third and deciding set, 30-year-old Carey Jr had taken a 3-1 lead and was up 5-3 but couldn’t put 21-year-old Bain away as he stormed back to even the score at 6-6 to force the tie breaker.

#In the tie breaker, Carey Jr held on for the nail-biting 8-6 decision.

#“I was still trying to find my groove because I haven’t been performing as I should,” said Carey Jr, who is employed with the Ministry of Education in Grand Bahama. “I just came here to try and stay here in the game.

#“I’m happy that I came through with the win and now I can look forward to the semifinal. I know I will have another tough match against Denali, but I’m hoping that my experience can pull me through as I try to win this match and get back on the Davis Cup team.”

#Nottage, a former outstanding junior player, said he played much better yesterday than he did in his opening match of the tournament on Monday.

#“I had a game plan and rhythm,” Nottage said. “I feel good. I’m coming along good. I’ve been training hard. So, to be in the semis, I know the competition will get tougher. But I just hope to go out there and give it my best.”

#The men are slated to be back in action today, starting at 9am.

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