ON a very tough opening day for under-18 players from the host country, Nabeel Mohammed sent the No. 4 seed packing when the Tobago ITF (International Tennis Federation) Junior Tournament served off yesterday at Shaw Park.
The national under-16 and 18 champion stunned Briton Stefan Cooper 6-4, 6-3, and Ty Abraham, the only local player seeded in the draw at No. 8, was a 7-5, 6-0 winner over Barbadian Simon Lewis.
But the other ten T&T players in action all failed to reach today’s round of 16.
Joshua Abraham, who reached the doubles final with twin brother Ty in the second stage of this three-leg circuit last Friday in St Vincent, had the toughest draw, and the runner-up in the recent National Championships was far from disgraced in his 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 defeat at the hands of top-seeded American Jean Thirouin.
The Abrahams were not the only T&T twins in actions yesterday, but both Anthonys lost as Kristen went down 6-1, 6-3 against Alex Hagon of Great Britain and Kriston failed to trouble the scorer against Brazilian Antony Mendes.
Ross Hackshaw also could not get on the board, against seventh-seeded American Jesse Ruder-Hook, while Kryel Trim and Clint Singh got one game each against No. 5 seed Santiago Salazar of Colombia and Jason Legall, an American of local parentage, respectively.
Junaldo Greig and Nkrumah Patrick were beaten by the exact 6-2, 6-1 score by Americam Jakub Wojcik and second-seeded Canadian Jack Slyke, respectively, while Aaron Soo Ping Chow also won three games, against Elliot Thornton of the United States.
After taking the first set in a tie-break, United States-based Ethan Ammon faded badly and was beaten 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-0 by Franz Luna Lavidalie of Guatemala.
The girls will begin their campaign today, and seven local players--Breana Stampfli, Kezia Koroma, Shania Millington, Dominique Coutain, Makalah Goodridge, Juliet Campbell and Danielle Devenish--will be among those in action.
Stampfli, who lost in both the singles and doubles finals last week in St Vincent after capturing the doubles crown and reaching the singles title match the week before in St Lucia, is ranked #443 in the world in juniors and seeded second in singles.
The girls’ under-14 draw only contains four players, and Emma Davis and Emma-Rose Trestrail, the top two under-14 and 16 players in the country, will be meeting in the semifinal round today.
In boys’ under-14 action, yesterday, Kobe James beat Adam Escalante 7-5, 6-3, Joshua Arnold was a 7-5, 6-1 winner over Liu Chin, Che Andrews got past Samir Elattwy 6-4, 4-6, 6-0, and national age-group champ Scott Hackshaw cruised past Danyel Angus 6-4, 6-1 to reach today’s quarterfinals.
First serve is at nine a.m.