By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA) is set to host its International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament, the Antigua and Barbuda Cup, for the first time since 2019, when it hosted the event in the second quarter of 2022.
It is according to the head of the association, Cordell Williams, who said the tournament was already on the ITF calendar.
“The ITF COTECC calendar is already out and the Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA) is due to host our first tournament if all goes well, in May, the Antigua Cup. So in January, we will do the work we need to do to make this first tournament a success, ”he said.
“Our junior players continue to train, but the downside is that the under-14s for girls and boys would have missed two years of competing in this age category, so they will now have to play for the under-18s. years, which will be a lot more difficult because while we were locked up, in places like the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Mexico, tournaments were going on, ”he added.
The news, Williams said, is supportive of the brotherhood because while some aspects of the sport have been allowed to continue while the government restrictions are implemented, there has been a general lack of competition over the past two years.
“We were one of the lucky sports that managed to keep going during the pandemic and we continued to work with our junior players, but what we found was that they started to get demotivated because he there was nothing to expect in terms of competition but from the point of view of the tennis clubs we have organized matches for them on the weekends just to get them ready for next year, ”he said. said the tennis boss.
Williams has assured that the tournament, if allowed to move forward, will take place under strict health protocols.
“We’ll have to see the criteria in terms of protocol guidelines so that we can post them on the ITF website as soon as we host this tournament, but it’s already on the schedule for us to host,” he said. said.
The Antigua and Barbuda Cup was last hosted in 2019 with patented tournaments for 2020 and 2021 canceled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.