The recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers’
tennis Open brought over many top players from the Caribbean.
They were vying for the $25,000 in
prizes and cash, a considerable amount for a tournament of this size.
One of them was Barbadian Richard
Henry who thoroughly enjoyed his first trip to the Cayman Islands.
He got to the semis in the singles,
losing to No.1 seed Juan Rios. At least Henry won the doubles with Rios as
partner. They beat Cayman’s Nigel Mitten and the American Tony Mule over three
sets in a tight match.
Henry, 30, was a top Caribbean
junior and had an International Tennis Federation ranking.
He was able to get a tennis
scholarship to the US in 1997 and played in Division One there. He also played
in some satellite and professional tournaments and even in Europe before
running out of money.
At the moment he is a high
performance coach based in Texas who also travels around a lot.
“I’m focused on building,
development,” Henry said. “I want to come back to the Caribbean and help kids
win titles like I did in Barbados.
“I want to help them get
scholarships to the US so that they get an education that they don’t have to
So what did he think of the tennis
set up here? “The tournament was great. Juan came last year (and won the
singles) but I couldn’t come. But I’m glad I made it this year.
“The people here are great and
friendly and the facilities are top notch. Everything was great and I’ll do it
again in a heartbeat and tell a lot of people about it.
“This tournament has to grow. The
prize money itself is very good which does attract quality players. You want to
have that quality in tennis to attract the best.”
Henry’s dreads are partly a nod to
Yannick Noah, the great French player. “Yes, I grew up in the Eighties and
Yannick was one of my idols. I actually met him, in New York at the US Open and
also I play music, inspired by Bob Marley which gives a creative flow and