Davis Cup team aim to build for the future
A second Bermuda team arrived in Costa Rica this week, with the tennis team set to compete in the Davis Cup at the Costa Rica Country Club in Escazu starting this weekend.
The team consists of No 1 seed Gavin Manders, Neal Towlson, Tre Mallory and debutant Tariq Simons, with the emphasis on youth as they prepare for a week of competitive matches starting this weekend.
Ricky Mallory, the national tennis director who is accompanying the team as coach, welcomes the inclusion of Simons, one of the island’s up-and-coming youngsters, who gets his first taste of Davis Cup tennis.
“Continuing with the BLTA’s vision of rebuilding the team for the future, 18-year-old newcomer Tariq Simons has been brought into the fold replacing former Davis Cup player, David Thomas,” said Mallory, the father of Trey Mallory, another talented youngster. “This will be a huge opportunity for Tariq who I feel will learn and grow from this experience.
“The players know that I always demand a professional approach to the game. With the assistance of Jenson Bascome, Steve Bean, Jovan Whitter and Gavin Manders, we have been guiding Tariq on his path to this event.
“He has seen what it takes to prepare oneself for international representation on the world stage. It is now important for us as coaches to collectively direct both Tariq and Trey on the right path to them becoming the future of Bermuda’s Davis Cup team which will eventually include more juniors coming through.”
Michael Wolfe, president of the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association, added: “This is an interesting time as we continue our rebuilding process. For the new and younger players, it’s a time to gain valuable experience and prepare themselves to carry the Bermuda flag for years to come.
“It is also good to see the likes of a Jenson Bascome coming on-board as an assistant coach. Jenson is a former Davis Cup player and the first and only player in Bermuda’s history to be awarded the prestigious Davis Cup Commitment Award, given by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for his longstanding dedication in representing Bermuda in Davis Cup.
“He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to share with the players. The BLTA is looking for positive signs of growth from this trip.”
Competing with Bermuda in this year’s Davis Cup competition are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and US Virgin Islands; with the top two teams gaining promotion to Americas Zone 2. The tournament will run until June 23.