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32 road Titans to clash

Randy Bennett

32 road Titans to clash

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Just as the name suggests, the United Insurance Clash of the Titans Road Tennis Competition is shaping up to be exactly that.
Thirty-two of the island’s top players will showcase their skills and talents when the lucrative tournament, which is being hosted by the Professional Road Tennis Association (PRTA) of Barbados, gets underway tomorrow at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in Wildey.
Featuring an interesting mix of champions, wily veterans, up-and-coming youngsters and several emerging talents capable of causing upsets on any given night, the competition is expected to be fierce and exciting.
And with $3 000 at stake for the winner, spectators should be treated to some top-class tennis during the next two weeks.
The runner-up will walk away with $1 000, while the losing semi-finalists will receive $500 each.
Several of the island’s best players including Julian “Michael Jackson” White, Anthony “Ears” Mitchell, Mark “Venom” Griffith and Curtis Jones are set to play in the invititation-only tournament, which will be staged on the gymnasium’s eastern car park.
But with very competent players such as Victor “Earth” Ward, Keon Murrell, Darius “Barracus” Gaskin, Adrian “Dan” Skeete and the evergreen Jefferey “Borah” Best also in the mix, it will be anything but a cakewalk for those top-ranked players.
The fireworks will begin from the opening round, which has produced some mouth-watering matchups.
White, the No. 1 seed, is set to take on Gary “Kojak” Thomas, Marson Johnson will face David “Jah Paul” Phillips, Chester “Boy Boy” Brewster will meet Keon Murrell, and Adrian “Dan” Skeete and David Arendell will clash in what are expected to be keenly contested matches.
Fresh from capturing the SJ Health & Bakery Limited Punches In Bunches road tennis tournament in September, White will be favoured to overcome the Vauxhall-based Thomas, who blasted onto the scene in the 2011 Inter-Parish Road Tennis Championships.
However, Thomas will be out to create the competition’s first major upset, and having reached the semi-finals in his last major competition, will be looking to go one step further.
Johnson has long been considered among the island’s elite, capable of dismissing any opponent on his night. He will, however, face a stern test against the dreadlocked Phillips, who is also highly rated.
Two of the island’s most improved players in Brewster and the 15-year-old Murrell are set to meet in what is expected to be a shot-filled match. Both players rely heavily on their powerful forearms to win points.
Skeete, a dangerous and aggressive southpaw, will be up against Arendell, who has failed to impress recently.