The Gatorade Malta open 2021 was held between 8 – 17 October at the Marsa Sports Club, with some thrilling matches which were greatly appreciated by all those present. The championships, which were smoothly organised by tournament director Jevon Dimech, drew a number of avid tennis lovers to the Club and created a great atmosphere in almost perfect October weather. The tournament referee was Dr Mohab Fahmi.
This year saw a healthy number of applicants, namely 9 ladies for the Ladies Singles, 39 men for the Men’s Singles and 11 teams who signed up for the Men’s Doubles.
A number of new names joined some well-known Maltese faces in the draw for the Ladies Singles and, in fact, the winner was Croatian national Ivana Katavic, 30, who made her debut at this year’s Open and beat 15-year-old Jessica Dimech 6/4, 6/0 to clinch the title. Both Katavic and Dimech won their semi-final matches quite easily against Amke Fisher (6-2, 6-1) and Marisa Lena Zammit Vasilieva (6-1, 6-1) respectively.
Both the Men’s Doubles and the Men’s Singles also attracted some new players this year, and it bodes well for the sport to see a mixture of some long-established familiar names, joined by players of different nationalities as well as those who have recently joined the Marsa Sports Club, put their names down for these championships.
In fact, the final for the Men’s Doubles was like a who’s who of Maltese tennis, with Matthew Asicak and Alex Degabriele facing off against nephew and uncle duo, 20-year-old Liam Delicata and Marcus Delicata. The former won 6/0, 6/2 confirming that at 31, Asciak is still a force to be reckoned with while 17-year-old Degabriele is proving his mettle time and again.
In the Men’s Singles, a very exciting semi-final which went into three sets between Degabriele and Liam Delicata, saw Delicata win 5/7, 7/5, 6/2. This took him to the finals to face long-standing champion Matthew Asciak who continued to show his dominance by winning 6/1, 6/3.
Asciak, who won his first Open title at the age of 15, is therefore still Malta’s undisputed champion, after being crowned Open Tennis Champion for the 17th consecutive year.
Prizes and trophies were given to the winners after the singles final match by Marsa Sports Club tennis section chairman Ing. Anthony Mifsud and MTF president Dr. David Farrugia Sacco.