The finals of the 2023 Innovative Invitational Amateur Tennis Classic closed on Saturday ( June 17), with tennis fans flocking the Liguanea Club tennis courts to take in the nail-biting matches.
The tournament received over 100 entries, with contestants battling it out over the course of the week, from June 12 through to the semi-finals on Friday, June 16.
The Men’s class two bout saw Seth Grennell and Rudolph Jackson battling it out. Jackson edged Grennel two sets to one (4 – 6 6 – 3 6 -1) to take the victory. Lavois Cruikshank comfortably took home the Men’s class three title to secure the victory over Jeffery Leckie. Cruikshank decimated his competition 6-4, 6-1, much to the delight of his supporters.
The Men’s class two finalists received a complimentary weekend courtesy of Sandals Resorts International, while the class three finalists walked away with a complimentary weekend at the Altamont Court Hotel.
Garth Walker, executive chairman of Innovative Systems Limited, was most impressed by the level of competitiveness and sportsmanship.
“I am thrilled to see the excellent display that was put on today. We were treated to world class tennis throughout this tournament and I am excited to see how next year will unfold. I am committing to placing more on the table for the next two stagings, which will allow for the matches to be livestreamed because talents like these must be shown to a wide variety of consumers. Thanks to Llockett for the opportunity to partner with this tremendous event and we look forward to a bigger, better 2024,” he noted.
In the ‘Ladies’ B category’, Maureen Williams defeated Racquel Nevins in a gruelling three hours of competition. Williams took the win in two sets, 6 – 7(4) 7 – 5 6 – 3, and walked away with a complimentary weekend prize at the Liguanea Club.
The Men’s Open had spectators on the edge of their seats as Jeremy Miller and David Goldsmith engaged in a revenge match, treating patrons to world class tennis. Having won the coin toss, Miller chose to serve first and went on to take the lead in the first set, 6-2. Goldsmith, however, decided not to go down without a fight, winning set 2 by 6-3.
The pair went back and forth, ending up tying at 4-4, which then saw Miller playing an excellent match to win the competition 6 – 2 3 – 6 6 – 4.
The Men’s Open winner received J$100,000 for his victory prize. The tournament organisers also decided to make a ‘Shot of the Match’ award, courtesy of Innovative Systems Limited, which David Goldsmith unanimously won.
An excited Miller expressed “it feels great to come out victorious. I came out here with an objective to show everybody that I can be a winner”.
“I realised that I was letting the games get away from me, so I had to re-focus, dig in, and stay with it. When I got my chances, I just had to try to take them. it got a little bit rocky at times but I just had to keep pushing. The crowd support was amazing. They provided the energy that I needed to get through the third set. That really made a big difference for me,” added the men’s open champion.
The tournament will run for the next two years with Innovative Systems Limited as the title sponsor, and interested entities are urged to join in helping grow the sport of tennis locally.