Jovan Jordan-Whitter achieved a major breakthrough in his career after capturing a maiden men’s A title at the weekend.
The unseeded player won the Pomander Gate Tennis Club Open presented by Martini after upsetting No 2 seed Sam Butler in the final.
“This is my first men’s A win locally and it’s been a long time coming,” Whitter said. “I feel like a monkey is off my back.
“I played in my first men’s A final was when I was 17, so it definitely feels like I’m a teenager again. I’m 33, so here I am 16 years later finally winning one.”
The Bermuda Davis Cup player and Island Games bronze medal-winner won the match, which was almost two hours long, 6-4, 6-2.
“I lucked out because my opponent [Butler] had a very tough semi-final against his doubles partner, Neal Towlson,” Whitter said. “They went three sets and their match was three hours long, so he was exhausted from the match before.
“My semi-final was straight sets, so I was a bit more rested. I kind of lucked out in that he was tired from the night before and I took advantage.
“But it’s one of those situations where you have to play the person that’s in front of you. No matter if they’re tired, injured or anything, you have to beat them, and that’s what I did.”
En route to the title Whitter also beat Gavin Manders, the No 1 seed and defending champion, in the quarter-final. Manders was a set down when he was forced to retire after spraining his ankle.
“I feel I have been good enough to win a men’s A event for a long time, but just haven’t had the cards fall my way,” Whitter added. “Gavin has been the reigning champion for the last ten years so to get through, despite him being injured, is a big achievement.
“There’s a lot of people on the island that, even with Gavin having a bum ankle, wouldn’t have won that match.”
Whitter’s triumph has boosted his confidence.
“It’s confirmation that I can compete at the highest level [in Bermuda], which you’re never sure about until you actually go out there and do it,” he said.
“It’s motivation for me to train, so that maybe I can win one more. Hopefully this would be me just breaking the ice and it’s not just a one-time situation.”
Butler and Towlson won the doubles title after defeating Whitter and David Thomas in the final. Darian Thomas won the Bacardi Seniors Cup singles title after defeating Kelljon Evans 6-0, 6-1 in the final.
Thomas also won the Seniors Cup doubles with Steve Bean, and completed an impressive treble after claiming the Super Seniors doubles with Earl Leader.