12 year old creates lawn tennis history for Jamaica

BRADENTON, Florida,  CMC– A 12 year old has created history by becoming the first Jamaican to reach the semi-final of the Eddie Herr Junior Tennis Tournament in the United States.

Blaise Bicknell lost his semi-final battle to Adam Neff of the United States 6-1, 6-1 as the tournament came to a climax over the weekend.

“It was a really hard tournament, but I surprised myself by reaching the semis,” said Bicknell.

“These players are very good, but the tournaments I have played earlier this year have really prepared me well.”

Neff is ranked No.2 in the world and No.1 in the USA.

Bicknell defeated the United States’ Graham Hadesman 6-1, 6-0, to advance to the round of 32, where he defeated Turkish No.1 player Kemal Karagovoglub 6-4, 6-2. In the round of 16, Blaise fought bravely against a much stronger player, Peetu Pohjola, the Finnish No.1 junior player, and won 7-6, 3-0, when his opponent forfeited the match.

In his quarterfinal match-up that lasted for nearly four hours, he defeated the tournament’s No.14 seed and top Korean player, Minjong Park, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4.

“He has improved tremendously, listens well, is very competitive, trains non-stop and is very focused. I know he will win one of these high-level tournaments in the future,” said Coach Mel Spence.

“I expect him to compete just as well in his next tournament next week at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida”.

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