‘MJ’ is No. 1
IT IS now official. The World Boss of road tennis Julian “Michael Jackson” White is now the number one player in the world.
White, the island’s most durable player, climaxed over two decades of near perfection on a tennis court by taking the City of Bridgetown Credit Union World Road Tennis Championship with a studious 21-15, 21-17, 21-12 win over Antonio “Lil Man” Daniel in the final on Sunday night at the Springer Memorial School.
For his tutorial, which would not have been wasted on the appreciative crowd, White earned a top purse of $20 000 with Daniel taking home $7 000.
“After watching Antoine defeat ‘Venom’ [Mark Griffith] I strategised as to how I would play him and I stuck to that strategy. Even when he fought back in the third game I briefly thought about his last comeback against me in the Monarchs,” said White. (KB)
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“But I refocused and played my game. Antoine is a very deadly player and it was important that I take away his shots. He would still score some but I needed to give him high-risk shots to get him to spoil.
“As long as my body holds up I intend to continue and hopefully I shall be back to defend my world title in 2018.”
Earlier, the undisputed women’s queen Kim Holder defeated Sheldene Waldron 21-15, 21-17 to also enjoy a great payday of $20 000.
Holder, who described her victory as great, was thrilled to add the world title to her many accolades in road tennis.
“I have won many tennis titles and picked up some money but nothing compares to this feeling of winning the world title,” said Holder, who formerly played volleyball for Barbados.
The fans, who had seen Daniel dismantling local champion Griffith the previous night, were disappointed that the shots master could not get his artillery firing against White. The class and craft of White and the uncertain bounce of the court frustrated Daniel and at times White but the latter exploited the situation more effectively.
Ironically, the greatest cheers were for White as he often set up Daniel with a one-two punch to pass him and pose leaving the big man out of position and out of the money.
Waldron had given hopes of a closer battle when she led 12-8 and 16-12 in the second game. But like a master angler, Holder reeled in her catch to equal Waldron at 16, creating panic with successive aces. Holder signalled an imminent end when she gutted her opponent with a vicious smash at 19-16 to then finish the contest in straight games.
All of the night’s finals ended similarly. Ezekiel “Ezee” Ward of Deighton Griffith Secondary disposed of Shaquan Henry of Ellerslie Secondary in the junior finals 21-18, 21-12. Traffic cop Rickey “Body Doc” Hoyte flouted the authority of Sergeant Christopher Griffith 21-18, 21-12.
The doubles title went to Andy “Black Dog” Richards and Adrian “Dan” Skeete, who beat Shibbir Greenidge and Marson Johnson 21-11, 21-10.
Sean Stanley of St Vincent and the Grenadines won the international men’s title from Joshua Meza of the United States 21-19, 21-15 while Shereen Peterson of Canada took the ladies’ equivalent, defeating Samantha Lynch of St Vincent 21-8, 21-8.
• Please see also Page 19.