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Fifteen-year-old looking for Davis Cup pick

By Shammi Kowlessar

FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Ethan Ammon is on the list of players interested in representing Trinidad and Tobago in the Davis Cup next year.

The United States-based left-hander is one of seven players who have accepted the invitation to be part of the process with the hope of gaining selection on the team for American Zone Group III of the world's premier male team tennis competition in June.

In the past there was a trail event and the four leading players would form the team, but Jermille Danclar stated that "we are doing things a little differently this time."

The TATT (Tennis Association of Trinidad and Tobago) president explained that this four-day event at the National Tennis Centre, Tacarigua, will be a "Davis Cup screening" process to assist the sport's governing body to pick the final four players.

Ammon will join Lendl Smith, last year's reserve Seve Day and the four players — Yohansey Williams, Liam Gomez, Vaughn Wilson and Luke De Caires — who comprised this year's squad when the competition was held in Tobago in June.

The 23-year-old Williams and Gomez, three years his junior, have been on the team for the last three years, while Wilson, who is a few months older than Gomez, has played Davis Cup three times in the last four years.

De Caires made his debut at this level in Tobago, but fellow 19-year-old Day is yet to go through the experience.

Former Davis Cup player Smith returned to singles after an absence of over two years and the 22-year-old went on to defeat the Tobagonians Wilson and Williams and then the United States-based Day in the final of the National Championships in the middle of the year.

The American Zone Group III competition will take place in Bolivia on clay court from June 17-22 and 11 countries – Bahamas, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, T&T, United States Virgin Islands, Bolivia – are expected to be represented.

The teams will be placed in two round-robin groups with the top two from each group advancing to play for the two promotion places to Group II in 2014.

The screening for the Fed Cup will be taking place simultaneously from Thursday in Tacarigua. However, just one place is available on the team, as 17-year-old national champ Breana Stampfli has been picked automatically, along with the United States-based Annaleise Rose and professional player Yolande Leacock.

All three were on this year's team, along with Keneel Teasdale, who made her debut alongside Leacock, and is one of just four vying for the final place on next year's squad.

The others are Trevine Sellier, a member of last year's team, junior Amanda Soo Ping Chow and last year's national champ Lee-Anne Lingo, who was unavailable this year after being a member for the previous three.

Twenty-year-olds Lingo and Teasdale are studying in the United States, as well as Sellier, who is a year younger. The Tobagonian Leacock is 21-years old, 13 years younger than Rose, this country's most successful and experienced player at this level.

American Zone Group II of the Fed Cup will take place in El Salvador from July 17-20.

Players from 13 countries – Bahamas, Bermuda, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, T&T, Uruguay, El Salvador – will begin the competition in four round-robin groups.

The group winners will advance to the semi-finals and both winners will be promoted to Group I of the world's premier female team tennis tournament in 2014.

The format for the Davis Cup and Fed Cup screening has not yet been determined.

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