Japheth Bagerbaseh clinched his first title of year on last Saturday with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Daniel Quartey in the first edition of Atta Mills Memorial Tournament at the Accra Sports Stadium Center Court in 1 hour-17 minutes.
”You do have some mental comfort knowing that you have had many successes against your opponent, nevertheless, that is not a certainty, it’s not a guarantee that you can win the next match. Actually, it makes one more eager to come out and play his best tennis.” Japheth said.
He added “To be able to do it here in Accra is something special. The fans were great. They made a lot of noise today.”
Quartey failed to seize his chance in the third game when Japheth double-faulted to 0-40 down. Japheth kept his cool and won five consecutive points to move up 3-2
The change of racquet had a positive impact on Quartey. After long rallies, Quartey smashed winner and was rewarded with a break in the sixth game as he pushed Japheth into a flow of mistakes with a series of deep returns.
But the rallies swung again in favor of Japheth as Quartey made several unforced dropping his a fourth time.Japheth broke again for a 5-3 lead, but Quartey failed to hold his serve in the next game. Japheth won 6-3 first set.
Quartey could not keep hitting with accuracy for long, allowing Japheth to break his serve in third game to lead 2-1, when he made three mistakes on his forehand. After Japheth winning his serve to lead 3-1, He overcame another break point with a kick second serve to move up 4-1 and raised his arms in triumph as he returned to his chair. He sealed the win a second match point when his opponent sent a return long.
“There have been just a couple of points that didn’t go the way that I wanted,” Quartey said. “Otherwise I think I’ve been pushing him quite hard. I had enough chances to make this match go my way and I could have been the one with the trophy today.”
In the boys 16 and under, Felix Hammond won his first home-ground with a 6-3,6-4 win over Ronald Torttimah. ”I guess he missed a few shots at the beginning. I got some opportunities and I took them and then suddenly he was not missing anymore. He was going for his shots and being much better in the rallies. He became super solid. When Hammond is playing like that, it’s very tough to beat him. ”Ronald said.
“It’s a dream come true to be able to win a title in Accra,” Hammond said. He added “I think the most important period of the year is coming up right now, Obviously National Ranking and ITF junior’s tour are the priority. That’s where I want to perform my best. But we’ll take it step by step and see how far I can go.”