The 2015 Cayman Open tennis tournament had everything – except for a champion. Torrential rain washed out the men’s singles final on Sunday after a thrilling four days of tennis featuring professionals from all over the world.
Darian King from Barbados, the world number 290, had been set to face Florida’s Greg Oulette in Sunday’s final before the weather intervened.
Top seed King, who beat France’s Tom Jomby in straight sets in the semifinals, is playing in the ATP Challenger event in Guadeloupe this week and had to be on a plane out of Grand Cayman on Sunday night, ending any chance of rescheduling the final.
Oulette, the fourth seed and ranked 761 in the world, caused a minor upset en route to the final, defeating Mick Lescure, the French second seed, in straight sets in the semis. But he was denied the chance to repeat his exploits against King.
“The singles champion was Mother Nature,” said tournament director Rob Seward. He said the cancelation of the final was disappointing but unavoidable and insisted it had not dampened enthusiasm for the event.
“It was a fantastic event, by far the best that the Caribbean has staged in terms of the caliber of the players.”
The doubles tournament was perhaps the highlight of the weekend. Slovakia’s Dominik Hrbaty, a former world number 12 who has played in the semifinals of the French Open, teamed up with Germany’s Frank Moser to triumph. They defeated French pairing Jomby and Lescure 6-2, 7-6 in the final.
Karl Hale, tournament director of Canada’s Rogers Cup – one of the top events on the ATP tour, was among the players in the doubles tournament. He teamed up with King and made it as far as the semifinals before succumbing to the eventual champions.
Hale, who knows a thing or two about putting on a tournament, was impressed with what he saw in Cayman.
“This was the best tournament I have seen in the Caribbean. It was very well organized, with a very professional setup.
“As with most events, it takes time to build. This is a tremendous start to building a great tournament.”
Seward said this year’s event was the biggest yet, with 12 internationals in the men’s singles draw, as well as Cayman’s top players.
He said more sponsors came on board to support the event, allowing it to get bigger and better. The main sponsors of the 2015 event were PWC, the Ministry of Sport and the Department of Tourism.