Downes/Panday are GBTI Doubles tennis champs


The Men’s Open Doubles category of the GBTI Independence Jubilee Open witnessed an interesting shake up this year when Anthony Downes formed a new partnership with Harry Panday, instead of Jason Andrews, for a shot at the Men’s Open Doubles crown.


The duo fought their way to compete with Leyland Leacock/Nicholas Fenty in the finals Monday evening. Downes/Panday won the toss and opt to serve. At 40-30, they held service by Anthony acing Leacock to gain a 1-0 lead. It was Leacock’s turn to serve at 0-1 and he and Fenty managed to attain a 40-0 lead in game, but Downes/Panday shocked the pair by bringing the game to duece and broke their serve to secure the break in set at 2-0.


Downes/Panday again frustrated the Leacock/Fenty pair by holding service after being at a 0-40 deficit, dominating the set at 3-0. The match saw Leacock/Fenty rose to secure their first game of the set after facing two grueling deuce points.


Serving at 3-1, Downes/Panday again held serve as their rivals pushed them to a triple deuce game to lead at 4-1. Fighting for a chance to recover in the set, Leacock/Fenty serving at 1-4 loss service after committing a double fault at 30-40, propelling Downes/Panday to lead at 5-1. Panday stepped to the baseline to serve at 5-1. He and Downes experienced a surprising surge in points to win the game after being down 30-40.


Leacock/Fenty squandered their opportunity to break their opponent’s service by making three consecutive on-force errors. After smashing a ball out of court, netting another point and lobbing a ball out of court, the duo loss the set at 1-6 as Panday held serve.


Leacock/Fenty improved in the second set, by making a defining statement after leading at 40-15 and smashing an unreturnable ball to Anthony/Panday to lead at 1-0. Downes/Panday held serve to even games at 1-1 due to two back to back aces on their rivals. The break in set was earned by Leacock/Fenty as they held serve at 2-1. Afterwards, Downes/Panday fought to once again even the score at 2-2 by holding serve.


As the match intensified, Fenty served for his team and came awfully close to losing his service at 15-40, but the pair’s tactics worked in their favor by bringing the game to deuce and ultimately holding serve. Downes/Panday relentlessly held on serve to be neck and neck at 3-3, but Leacock/Fenty reclaimed the lead at 4-3 after coming treading dangerously close to a deuce point at 30-40. Serving at 4-3, Downes/Panday service was broken, increasing Leacock/Fenty’s lead to 5-3.


They narrowed the gap to 4-5 by imitating their rival’s previous game of breaking serve, and grappled to a 5-5 in games as to even the score for the fourth time in the set. Noticing the set was slipping out of their hands, Leacock’s outbursts of frustration increased as Downes/Panday were too close for comfort.


They loss their service game, forcing Downes/Panday to make the move needed to secure the set. Serving at 6-5, Downes/Panday faced a lengthy triple deuce ordeal as Leacock/Fenty tried their best to push the ball wide of Panday with hopes of forcing the set to tie break. Downes supported his partner with the difficult short and wide balls and drew on-force errors from Leacock/Fenty to win the set at 7-5.


Downes/Panday’s new partnership was proven successful as they were crowned Men’s Open Doubles champions at a match of 6-1, 7-5. On their way to the finals L. Leacock/N. Fenty def H. Resaul/J. Kalekyezi 6-3, 6-1 and A. Downes/H.Panday def K. Abrams/B.Dalip 6-0, 6-0.

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