Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Nabeel gallant in ‘Tranquil’ defeat

NABEEL MOHAMMED turned in a gallant performance in defeat when the BG T&T Tranquillity Open Tennis Tournament continued yesterday at the club’s courts, Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain.

The national under-16 and 18 champion battled toe-to-toe with second-seeded national and South Open champ Vaughn Wilson for two hours before eventually going down 6-4, 6-4 to the men’s singles quarterfinals.

After surprisingly getting through qualifying and then upsetting an under-the-weather Harry Mahase in the first round, Mohammed’s older brother Ibrahim came back down to earth yesterday as the 17-year-old crossed paths with fourth-seeded former champ Yohansey Williams and was unable to trouble the scorer.

Seve Day followed up his victory Sunday over defending champ Richard Chung with a 6-0, 6-4 triumph over St Lucian McColin Fontenelle, a former top junior who is now 40 years old.

And ‘South’ runner-up Akiel Duke completed the list of semifinalists with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-1 victory over fellow Tobagonian Richard McLetchie, the player who had ousted No. 3 seed Jovani Lewis in the previous round.

Top seed and overwhelming title favourite Olivia Bennett, winner of the doubles and mixed doubles titles last weekend, will continue her quest to complete a triple crown when the women’s quarters are contested today.

The 23-year-old, who won the South Open without being challenged when she returned from a four-year layoff last month, will come up against Donna Chin Lee. Younger sister Cristina, who combined with Olivia to win the doubles title and then upset the No. 4 seed in her first singles match in five over five years on Monday, will face former runner-up Cindy Low.

After getting past Emma Rose Trestrail, the country’s second-ranked under-16 player, 6-3, 6-4 yesterday, No. 3 seed Trevine Sellier will oppose Juliet Campbell, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Danielle Devenish. And today’s other 4 p.m. quarterfinal will involve Carissa Rudolfo and second-seeded former champ Shenelle Mohammed, who have both reached this far without picking up a racquet.