BCCI Swept Away Clay Court tennis tournament this weekend
Ninety male and female players from across Jamaica will begin competing for five titles tomorrow when the 2016 renewal of the BCCI Swept Away Clay Court Tennis Championships serves off at Couples Swept Away in Negril.
The tournament ends on Monday. This was announced yesterday when the tournament was launched at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. Competition will be in the Men's and Women's Open, Men's 35 Professional, Men's 35 Amateur and Men's Open Doubles.
Tournament Director Llockett McGregor told STAR Sports that he was pleased that the prize money had increased this year, and the winner of the Men's Open event will take home $175, 000 and the runner-up $75,000. The winner of the Men's Professional for players over 35 years of age will get $85,000 and the runner-up $42,500. The first prize for the Women's Open is $75,000 with the runner-up getting $35,500. All players who make it to the round of 16 will receive cash prizes. The tournament which started in 1991, is one of the longest running tennis events in Jamaica, and is the only one played on clay courts.
Last year's winner Randy Phillips is now competing overseas and will not be available to defend his title. In his absence, the current number one ranked male player Damion Johnson is the top seed. His arch-rival Dwayne Pagon is seeded number two, and Max Brown is at number three. Several talented juniors have also entered, and leading the charge and looking for upsets are the promising teenagers Blaise and Jacob BIcknell. Blaise is playing great tennis, and has been on a roll this year. He is expected to at least make it to the semi-finals.
Shanika Knight, who won the female title last year, will not be playing this year, so several young female players, led by leading junior Michaela Stephens, will be vying for top honours.