Silver Hill coming hard
WITH AN INCREASE in prize money and participation from top road tennis players, next month’s Silver Hill Road Tennis Championship is gearing up to be one of the biggest competitions of the year.
With defending champion Mark “Venom” Griffith having already confirmed his participation, several other “brand name” players are also scheduled to appear in the competition which serves off on June 15 and runs until July 13 on the Silver Hill hard court.
Top-ranked Julian “Michael Jackson” White, Victor “Earth” Ward, Antoine “Lil Man” Daniel, Jeffrey “Borah” Best, Adrian “Dan” Skeete, Anthony “Ears” Mitchell, Kerry “TC” Francis and David Arrendell are all expected to compete in the “A” Class division.
There will also be a Silver Hill In-house division, while the Under-16 division has been replaced by an Under-21.
There has been a $500 increase in prize money in the “A” Class, with the winner taking home $1 500, second place $750, third place $400 and fourth $300.
Those competing in the Silver Hill In-house category will battle for $750 and $400 for first and second respectively, with the two losing semi-finalists each getting $200.
The Under-21 winner will walk away with $500 and the runner-up $300, while the losing semi-finalists will receive $200 each.
Tournament organizer Orette Haynes told WEEKEND SPORT that he was expecting the number of competitors to surpass the 58 in the inaugural competition.
He said a decision had been made to host the competition early in the year this time around, having held it in December last year.
Haynes revealed that this was done so as to accommodate a “shotgun-style” tournament which he was looking at hosting in November.
Griffith, who overcame Ward in the finals of the 2012 edition, said he had already started his preparations.
“I have started to train already because I know I will have to be in very good shape to defend my title,” he added.
He had changed his diet, begun beach training and running on the highway alongside sharpening his game skills.
“It won’t be easy because there are a lot of good players who will be looking to take me down, but I still think that I have a good chance of winning the competition again,” Griffith said.
Jackson, who was upstaged by Ward in the quarter-finals last year, said he intended to make amends for that shock exit.
“I’m looking to redeem myself and since it’s the only competition in Barbados which I haven’t won, I would really like to add this to my collection.
“Last year I was a bit overconfident, but this time around I will be more focused because I plan on coming out on top,” he insisted.
Registration fee is $10 and entry forms can be obtained from Haynes, Chesterfield Winfield, Philip Garner and at the Oistins tennis court.