Ryan James Storrie yesterday became the first Briton to win the McDan ITF World Tour championship after beating Zimbabwean Benjamin Lock by two straight sets (6-4, 6-4) in the final staged at the Frank Ofori Tennis Court of the Accra Sports Stadium.
It was a pulsating encounter between the top two seeds as the match produced some scintillating display to the delight of the fully packed crowd.
Storrie broke Lock's serve with a powerful forehand in the first set when both players had tied it 2-2.
The diminutive Briton did not look back and scored with another powerful backhand shot to unsettle his much taller opponent.
He completely sealed his win with an ace to close the first set 6-4.
James Storrie completed the first set with an ace
Lock started the second set well and broke Storrie's serve to lead 4-3 after his opponent had earlier broken his serve to lead 3-2.
But that was all that the Zimbabwean could produce and then James took charge.
He unleashed a powerful ace followed with strong swinging shots to unsettle Lock who appeared frustrated as he missed crucial shots which went wide.
Runner-up, Benjamin Lock
Storrie received the winner’s trophy in addition to $1,500 in prize money and products from one of the sponsors, Rush Energy drink.
However, it was a bitter-sweet week for Lock who partnered his younger brother Courteney John to win the doubles title after defeating the pair of Briton Darry Hale and Niklas Johansson of Sweden 6-4, 6-1 in the final last Saturday.
Visioneer: Daniel McKorley of MC Dan Group
Mr Daniel McKorley of McDan Group, the initiator of the tournament five years ago, lauded the competitors for an outstanding performance and pledged to bring ITF competitions back into the country.
He also vowed to help move the Ghana team from Zone Three to Zone Two of the Davis Cup competition.
The President of the Ghana Tennis Association, Mr Isaac Aboagye Duah, said he was hopeful that the competition would make the sport attractive again to the youth and help unearth talents.
The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Perry Okudzeto, stressed the need for sponsorship for all sporting disciplines, noting that the government would provide support for any sporting event which was guaranteed sponsorship from the corporate world.