Top tennis seeds net props

Four world-class players competed in the 2014 PwC Men’s Invitational Championships at the club in South Sound last week and, as expected, they dominated the singles and doubles finals.  

It all began on Tuesday and it was one of the most competitive tennis tournament seen in Cayman. 

American Denis Zivkovic returned along with last year’s doubles champion Stefanno Ianni.  

Zivkovic, once ranked No. 292 in the world, teamed up with Italian Ianni, whose doubles ranking has been as high as No. 121. They also played each other in the singles tournament with Zivkovic winning the semifinals 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.  

Another Italian, Adriano Biasella, who has held a ranking as high as No. 386, played in the singles and doubles with the No. 1 seed, American Robert Kendrick. In the singles, Zivkovic was second seed, Biasella was seeded third and Ianni fourth. 

Kendrick lived up to his seeding and beat Biasella 6-2, 6-2 in the semis. 

Kendrick, who has held an Association of Tennis Professionals ranking of No. 69, made his first trip to Cayman and loved it, especially as he took home the $3,200 winner’s check, beating Zivkovic 6-2, 6-4 in the final.  

In the previous week, local players got their chance in the 2014 PwC Cayman Open. Mica Koll defeated Kevin Fawcett in the men’s open final 6-4, 6-2, and in the men’s over-50s singles final, Frank Pagelsdorf defeated Jeff Cummer 6-2, 6-1. 

The woman’s open final saw two newcomers, with Canadian Jennifer Bishop beating Cayman resident Irene Blocher 6-2, 6-2.  

The PwC Men’s Invitational Championships had $12,000 worth of prize money. 

The local Cayman pros had stiff competition against such an outstanding field. Adam Bayley, Dale Avery, Ilian Natchev and Uli Hoppe all went out early.  

Three local Caymanian players also participated; Charlie Thompson, Koll and Jon Crossan.  

Other locals who competed were Rob Weins, Kevin Fawcett, Chris van de Water and Jahon Shirinov. The tournament also included Jamaican Safin Bouland, now living in Virginia. 

The two tournaments were put together by Rob Seward, the club’s head coach and director of tennis. 

Seward said, “This was the best tournament ever held in Cayman because we had four players recently ranked in the top 400 in the world.  

“I don’t want to take anything away from the Legends tournament, which is always great, but these players are still competitive. Stefanno and Denis are still trying to make it on the tour, Adriano is now working for John McEnroe in New York and Robert is still active but now enjoying his family more, having had two children in the last couple of years.  

“They all enjoyed Cayman immensely, which also benefited from 30 Canadians coming down from Toronto with Karl Hale. Sports tourism was boosted immensely. They love Cayman, it has a lot of offer, with the great beaches, restaurants and other sports.”  

Seward also thanked the sponsors PwC, Morrant Ozannes, Cayman National and Cayman Airways for assisting with the flights for some players, as well as the Cayman families gracious enough to accommodate visiting players, namely the Bjuros, the Claybourns and Sean Landreth.  

Kendrick, who has held an Association of Tennis Professionals ranking of No. 69, made his first trip to Cayman and loved it, especially as he took home the $3,200 winner’s check, beating Zivkovic 6-2, 6-4 in the final.  

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Stefanno Ianni enjoyed his return to Cayman.

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Rob Seward was a champion organizer again.

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