Clarke, Mackey reach final again

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Women’s championship set for Thursday; men’s semis to be held today

Simba FrenchSend an emailDecember 21, 2022 102 2 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 Elana Mackey and Sydney Clarke.

Sydney Clarke and Elana Mackey will face each other for a second consecutive year in the women’s final of the Giorgio Baldacci Open National Championships. They easily won their semifinal matches yesterday at the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) National Tennis Centre. The men’s quarterfinals also took place with four players winning their matches to head to the semifinals which are set for today.

By advancing to the final, Clarke and Mackey secured their spots on Team Bahamas’ roster for the Billie Jean King Cup that is set for sometime in 2023. Both said they are happy to be back on the team where they intend to represent The Bahamas to the best of their abilities on the regional stage.

Sydney Clarke prepares to serve during her semifinal match at the Giorgio Baldacci Open National Championships at the BLTA National Tennis Centre on Tuesday. Clarke defeated BreAnn Ferguson in straight sets, 6-0 and 6-0, to advance to the final. Photos: Simba French

After a three-set match in the quarterfinals against Simone Pratt on Monday, Clarke was locked in against BreAnn Ferguson in the semis as she won 6-0 and 6-0. Clarke, the defending national women’s champion, said her composure was different yesterday.

“Today (Tuesday) I felt I played really calm,” Clarke said. “I could have added a bit more energy, but overall I felt that I improved on mistakes that I made yesterday (Monday) and I just practiced some new things in preparation for today. The match Monday put me in a mindset to be in go mode and not take anyone for granted.”

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) student-athlete said it is good to be in another matchup against Mackey.

“It’s always good playing Lana. We grew up together. We are always back and forth with each other, so it’s nice. When we get on the court, there’s always a fight, so I’m very excited. I just have to bring just like I’ve been doing it for each round and just not take anybody for granted.”

Mackey went up against Grand Bahamian Jalisa Clarke and won 6-2 and 6-1 to advance to the final. The Mars Hill University student-athlete looked comfortable in the victory.

“The match was a little bit rougher than the one I had yesterday, and also it was very windy today, so I had to play more consistent and go less for power,” Mackey said.

Elana Mackey gets ready to serve during her semifinal match at the Giorgio Baldacci Open National Championships at the BLTA National Tennis Centre on Tuesday. Mackey defeated Grand Bahamian Jalisa Clarke, 6-2 and 6-1, to advance to the final.

Looking ahead to the final against Sydney Clarke, Mackey said she will be looking to cut down on her mistakes. The final is set for Thursday.

“I think that it will be a very good match. I just have to play my game and not let her dictate the points. I think it will be very competitive,” Mackey said.

Over on the men’s side, Denali Nottage made light work of Savano Hanna, winning his match 6-0 and 6-0. This is his second consecutive year in the tournament. He was knocked out of the semifinals last year and is happy to be back in the semifinals this year.

The number one seed on the men’s side, Kevin Major Jr., easily took care of Dentry Mortimer, winning 6-0 and 6-0. Veteran Marvin Rolle dominated Anthony Burrows, 6-1 and 6-1. Rodney Carey secured the other semifinal spot when he won a three-setter over Jacobi Bain, 1-6, 7-5 and 7-6(6).

The men’s semifinals will be played today. The first matchup starts at 9 a.m.

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