By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Carri Glenn has his eyes on becoming the 1st Biosafe Mixer Tournament title holder on Sunday, after going deep into his arsenal, propelled by a powerful serve, to beat Creighton “CJ” Brewley in straight sets, 4-1, 4-0, for the mock version of the tournament victory.
“This game was a very competitive match. We’ve been playing together for a while and I’ve seen the improvement of CJ,” Glenn told Island Sun Sports. “Coming out here, I knew I had to get my A game on. I started off a little shaky, came from behind then I knew that I had to get in front in order to keep ahead of the game. To back him down, I had to make sure I brought my serve, because that’s my main strength. I had to pull out my weapon and give him those ace serves.”
Brewley said Glenn has a lot of ammunition and weapons. “He has the slice, he has the serve and is a very good player,” he noted. “I had to try and trick him—hit him short serves hoping that he would hit it into the net—try to stretch it so he could run for it. He has a very good serve and I was shocked that I was able to return it today, which showed that I have some improvement.”
By winning, Glenn said his eyes are on Sunday’s real prize. “Yes, I think I can win the championship,” he said. “I have put in a lot of work and really have to dig in there and make sure I close it out.”
However, Brewley isn’t conceding the title. “I’m not going to say for sure he’s going to win the tournament,” he said. “I’m still going for it.”
Brewley said before meeting Glenn, he started off shaky playing Keziah “Jade” Bolton, in a drawn out 4-1, 4-2 match. He said he didn’t feel as if he was flowing, then pulled out a three set 3-4, 4-3, 4-3 victory over Pat Lettsome, in the day’s most competitive match and the only one that went to three sets. He said she gave him a run for his money.
“I was really just trying to keep in the game and kept encouraging myself, ‘Brewley, don’t worry about this you’re going to get it,’ that’s the way I tried to approach matches,” he explained. “In my mind, I have to try again until my hand falls off. I’m going to keep trying until something happens.”
On his way to meeting Safe side Glenn defeated Bio side counterpart Yucari Brewley, 4-0, 4-1, then Martha Bowens, 4-0, 4-0. Yucari stopped Martha Bowens, 4-3, 4-2 in her opener.
Yucari told Island Sun Sports that the experience has taught her to be focused. “I have to be prepared to analyze each opponent’s weakness to use it against them because each one plays very differently,” she said. “I learnt to have fun, don’t watch the points—you might be down whether it’s 4-love, 3-love—don’t drop your shoulders, keep fighting and don’t let your opponent intimidate you.”
Bolton said the mock has helped her because she doesn’t go to the ball as much as she should. “I don’t really move much, I just stand and wait for the ball to come,” she said. “My backhand has improved a lot and my speed too.”
Bowens said she could have played better games as many of her shots went into the net. “I have to practice on the return of the ball, make sure it doesn’t go into the net because I notice that a lot of my balls were going downward,” she explained. “If I can just get up a little—right above the net—then I’ll be good. I also have to work on my backhand speed and placing the ball at the right angle. I don’t have a problem with the ball, it’s hitting the ball back.”
In the day’s toughest match, Lettsome said she lost to Creighton by ‘folly mistakes,’ and I have learnt to keep the focus on the game and her opponent.
“I think I was being broken by a stride that caused me to change my emotions and that’s where I thought I lost focus at that point,” said Lettsome who later defaulted to Bolton. “This mock tournament was a good idea so that we got to know what we’re up against. During the week, we can step up on what our little faults are and learn from the mistakes.”
Coach and tournament director Carol Mitchell said the tournament was a challenge for each player. “I want all the players to be motivated—to fight,” Mitchell said. “It’s not over until it’s over. I’m proud of all the players.”