SEVE DAY did not walk away empty-handed when the National Open Tennis Championships concluded Sunday night at Eddie Taylor Public Courts, King George V Park, St Clair.
After upsetting his doubles partner Liam Gomez in straight sets to reach the men's singles final on Saturday, the reserve on last month's Davis Cup team lost the title match to Lendl Smith Sunday after winning the first set.
But the pint-sized player gained some compensation a couple hours later when he combined with fellow 19-year-old Gomez, a member of the Davis Cup team for the last three years, to edge two other three-time Davis Cup players, Yohansey Williams and Vaughn Wilson, 6-3, 2-6, 10/8 for the doubles crown.
Second seeds Gomez and Day defeated Smith and multiple national champ Ivor Grazette 6-4, 6-4 in Saturday's semis, while top seeds Williams and Wilson were surprisingly stretched to the limit to nose out fellow Tobagonians Akiel Duke and Jovani Lewis 7-6 (8/6), 2-6, 11/9. After this nail-biter, a very frustrated Lewis caused some damage in the washroom, forcing referee Chester Dalrymple to default him from the remainder of the tournament.
The Tranquillity Open runner-up and unrelated fellow left-hander Keisha Lewis were supposed to play for the mixed doubles crown, but top seeds and overwhelming favourites Smith and Shenelle Mohammed were awarded the trophy without taking the court. Mohammed, a two-time national singles champ who recently returned to the competitive game after a five-year absence, won the doubles crown with the assistance of Breana Stampfli a few hours earlier.
The 16-year-old Stampfli, the two-time defending "Tranquil" champ, went on to take the singles crown Sunday and join Mohammed, Smith and Kendall Cuffy as double crown champs of the one-week tournament.
After capturing the veterans' doubles title with the assistance of Athelstan Phillips on Saturday, the left-handed Cuffy dethroned Rawle Boyce 6-2, 6-1 the day after for the over-45 singles title.
However the star of the tournament was definitely Smith, who defeated Davis Cup stalwarts Wilson and Williams and then, after sustaining a hamstring injury, was still able to take down Day in the title match of his first tournament in singles at home in two years. The 22-year-old lifted the trophy for the third time, six years after he became this country's second youngest ever national male champ.
Selected final results: SINGLES – Women's – B. Stampfli bt Keneel Teasdale 6-1, 6-2. Men's – L. Smith bt S. Day 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.
DOUBLES – Women's – B. Stampfli/S. Mohammed bt Shania Millington/K. Teasdale 6-2, 6-1. Veterans' – K. Cuffy/A. Phillips bt R. Boyce/David Marshall 6-2, 7-5.