Double dose of victory



As of Wednesday, January 11, 2023


#Senior Sports Reporter

#While it was a double dose of victory for Briana Houlgrave on the girls’ side, Jackson and Patrick Mactaggart made it a brothers affair on the boys’ side of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association’s New Year’s Tournament.

#The three-day event, held at the National Tennis Centre, was completed on Majority Rule Day on Tuesday as Houlgrave knocked off Grand Bahamian Tatyana Madu in both the girls under-14 and under-16 finals.

#In the under-14 finals between the pair of junior national team players, Houlgrave had to go to the third and tie-breaking set to win 4-6, 7-5, 10-6 before she regained her composure and came back and took the under-16 title 7-5, 6-2 over Madu.

#Jackson Mactaggart got the ball rolling on the boys’ side when he disposed of William McCartney Jr 6-3, 6-1 and his younger brother, Patrick Mactaggart, followed suit with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Chase Newbold.

#“It was amazing, especially since I knew I made my coach (Bradley Bain) and my parents proud, as well as myself,” said Houlgrave, a 12-year-old Bahamian-Canadian, who is in the seventh-grade at Windsor Academy.

#In the under-14s final, Houlgrave admitted that it was a bit nerve-racking.

#“I did a bit of overthinking, but once I looked over my notes, it all made sense and it made me extremely proud,” said Houlgrave, who took the opportunity after just about every crossover to check her notes she made to remind herself of what to do in the match.

#After about a two-hour break, Houlgrave came back and put the finishing touches on a great day on the tennis court.

#“I knew what to do, so even though it was very hard, it was still easy in some aspects of the game,” Houlgrave said.

#Despite the pair of losses, Madu, a 13-year-old ninth grader, said she gave it her best shot.

#“In the under-14s, I made a couple of errors here and there. I can’t do anything about that,” she said.

#“In the under-16s, I was pretty tired, but I tried my best. That’s what came out. But I think I can beat her the next time we play.”

#Madu said she was one of the few players from Grand Bahama who knew about the tournament, so she was happy to come here to see where her game is going into the new season.

#She said she just had to go back to the drawing board and make some adjustments in training.

#With all eyes set on their match, Jackson Mactaggart knew there was no room for error and he controlled the tempo of both sides, especially after going up a break in the first set and up two breaks in the second set.

#“I’m very pleased with my performances here because all of the players were tricky players, especially in the final.

#“I had to give it my all. Each (point) was tough and I had to fight for it,” said Mactaggart, who also plays golf.

#“I just took it one point at a time. I worked hard to get to the final and the hard work paid off. I felt I played well in all of my matches.”

#Mactaggart said hopefully this match will propel the rest of his season as he looks forward to a tournament in Grand Bahama and then on the Junior Davis Cup team with McCartney and Gerald Carroll.

#Patrick Mactaggart said he didn’t play the “greatest,” but it was good enough to win, just like his big brother.

#“I was just happy with winning. Next time, I hope to improve on what I did not do right today,” said the 12-year-old seventh-grader. “I was missing too much and double faulting.”

#In getting to the final, Newbold got past Panagiotis Mousis 2-6, 6-3, 10-2 in his semi-final match earlier in the day. The 11-year-old sixth-grader at Summit Academy, who indicated that he wants to one day become the best player in the Bahamas, felt he didn’t have anything left in the tank for the final.

#“Getting through the first match, like I did in all of my matches, I lost the first set and I came back in the second set and pumped myself up to win the game,” he said. “In my last match in the final, I tried my best, but he was just that much better today.”

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