National Champ: Breana Stampfli
are national champs
BREANA STAMPFLI did what everyone expected and Lendl Smith took out another player associated with last month's Davis Cup when the National Open Tennis Championships concluded yesterday at Eddie Taylor Public Courts, King George V Park, St Clair.
Overwhelming title favourite Stampfli cruised past United States-based Keneel Teasdale 6-1, 6-2 in 68 minutes to be crowned national champion for the first time at age 16. The two-time defending Tranquillity Open champ did not play in last year's edition after being forced to retire in the 2010 final after losing the opening set tiebreak to Carlista Mohammed.
Despite his lack of mobility, Smith completed his sensational return to competitive singles after an absence of two years with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory over No. 4 seed United States student Seve Day in 111 minutes.
After scalping Vaughn Wilson in the quarterfinals and then saving two match points en route to beating Yohansey Williams, another three time Davis Cup player, the No. 5 seed was installed as the heavy favourite over the Davis Cup reserve.
But Smith strained a hamstring muscle in doubles after his triumph over Williams Saturday and was forced to call the trainer when he lost the first set.
His movement did not improve that much, but his standard of play did and his opponent's level dipped considerably, resulting in the other two sets being completely one-sided.
Smith, a former "Tranquil" champ, rated his comeback victory almost as satisfying as when he brust onto the scene six years ago and whipped multiple national champ Ivor Grazette to become the second youngest ever national champ at age 16.