Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Three national champs go for ‘Lease’ crowns

NATIONAL age-group champions James Hadden, Jordane Dookie and Alijah Leslie will attempt to capture titles when the curtain falls on the first phase of the Lease Operators Limited Junior Tennis Tournament from 9 a.m. today at Trinidad Country Club, Maraval.
After beating Alexander Merry in the under-10 final of the Catch National Junior Championships in April, Hadden prevailed 4-1, 4-2 when the same two players clashed in the yesterday’s semifinals.
Kale Dalla Costa will be Hadden’s opponent for the title today after he came from behind to edge Callum Koylass 1-4, 4-2, 10/1.
In the girls’ equivalent semis, national under-10 champ Dookie was a 4-0, 4-1 winner over Inara Chin Lee, whose sister Abigail was also only able to muster one game against Jaeda-Lee Daniel-Joseph.
National under-14 champ Alijah Leslie advanced to the title match with a 5-4 (7/3), 4-0 triumph over David Rodriguez. And after beating last year’s runner-up Ebolum Nwokolo 4-2, 5-4 (7/3), Kyle Kerry was a 4-1, 4-2 winner over last year’s national under-12 champ Luca Shamsi in the other semi-final.
In the girls’ under-12 semis, newcomer Sanjili Seenath upset Gabrielle MacKenzie 4-2, 4-1 and last year’s under-10 champ Zara Ghuran gave title favourite Charlotte Ready all she could handle before being edged 3-5, 4-2, 10/6. Ready’s twin brother Nicholas was also forced to go right down to the wire to nose out last year’s runner-up Beckham Sylvester 4-1, 2-4, 11/9 in the under-12 quarter-finals.
There are two rounds to be contested in this draw today and the national age-group champ will oppose Jamal Alexis to battle either Saqiv Williams or Tyler Hart in the final. Hart surrendered just one game against Dominican D’Arcy yesterday and Alexis dropped two against Sebastien Byng, but Williams was pushed to the limit to deny Tim Pasea 5-3, 2-4, 10/3.
After rain played havoc over the first four days, only half-hour playing time was possible by 2 p.m., five hours after the scheduled start. However, there were no interruptions after that and the programme was expected to be completed by 8 p.m. The under-16 and 18 divisions will take place at the end of the month.