BLTA names Davis, Billie Jean King Cup teams

THE Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) has named its 2024 Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup (BJKC) teams.

On the Davis Cup side, we have The Bahamas’ top player Justin Roberts, who was invited and accepted a spot when he attained Top Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) 800 in the world earlier in the year, Rodney Carey Jr, Michael Major Jr, Donte Armbrister and Denali Nottage.

The BLTA has added the fifth player in consultation with the coach to ensure adequate coverage in the DC Americas Group III this year.

Baker Newman, who was invited to the team based on his 2023 Giorgio Baldacci Nationals results, communicated his inability to represent The Bahamas at the 2024 Davis Cup.

Kevin Major Jr, who was his replacement, was also sent an invitation and declined the invitation to represent the country. Level 2 Coach Ricardo Demeritte will captain the team of Justin Roberts, Rodney Carey Jr, Michael Major Jr, Donte Armbrister and Denali Nottage.

All members have represented The Bahamas on the Davis Cup previously with Michael Major Jr debuting in his first Davis Cup.

The team plays in Paraguay June 17th- 22nd. The following nine teams will compete in Americas Group III in 2024: Bahamas, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Paraguay. Three teams will be promoted, and two teams will be relegated.

The Bahamas’ BJKC team was also named. The following persons will be representing Simone Pratt, Sydney Clarke, Danielle Thompson and Tatyana Madu.

All players have represented The Bahamas previously, with Tatyana Madu debuting for the first time. The captain of the team is Level 1 Coach Kim O’Kelley and the team will be competing August 5th - 10th in Trinidad and Tobago at the National Racquet Centre. Two nations will be promoted.

Both teams have a tremendous amount of talent and we are pleased with the balanced representation with four players hailing from Grand Bahama: Simone, Tatyana, Rodney and Denali. The BLTA wishes both teams the very best as they represent The Bahamas on the global stage.

We also wish to address untruths circulating in reference to the 2024 U16 team who recently represented the country.

After Coach Spencer Newman, who led the boys to the championship, was unable to serve Coach Ricardo Demeritte who was selected withdrew allowing for another coach to be selected.

At no time was Coach Demeritte replaced. Persons are seeking to disparage players and coaches who serve on teams and are not allowing persons who are fully able to function in their role.

The Association and not players select coaches and it is unfortunate when talented players decide not to represent because their preferred coach is not selected.

The BLTA did indeed send an email invite for coaching to veteran coach Marvin Rolle at the start of the Davis Cup process but did not receive a response.

Coach Ricardo Demeritte, who was selected to head the 2024 Davis Cup team, is one of three Level 2 coaches in the Bahamas and has captained numerous national tennis teams over the years.

It is irresponsible to make and print unsubstantiated and untrue claims.

In accordance with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) regulations, each player and captain must be in good standing with the Association to participate in Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup.

The BLTA will continue to provide opportunities for its athletes, coaches and various stakeholders. We look forward to the upcoming competitions in Paraguay(DC) and Trinidad(BJK). Let us wish the teams well Bahamas.

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