WINNINGTON GRAZETTE will return to competitive tennis after a very long absence today when the BG T&T Tranquillity Open Tennis Tournament serves off at the club's courts, Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain.
The former top player, who has not been in a tournament in more than three years, is set to take the court alongside Robert Le Hunte to oppose under-14 players Liu Chin and Samir Elattwy at around 4 p.m. in the first round of the men's doubles draw.
All five first-round matches will be contested today and the winners will return tomorrow to battle for places in the quarter-finals.
The eight seeded pairs, including top seeds and defending champions Yohansey Williams and Vaughn Wilson, received byes and will not see action until tomorrow.
Along with one "lucky duo", the four seeded pairs in women's doubles have also received byes in the first round and the others will play today for the other three places in the quarters.
Breana Stampfli, who won the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles last year, is seeded to win the title with Donna Lee Chin, while last year's runners-up Cindy Kabli and Christine Alcazar are the No. 2 seeds.
Twelve players received first-round byes in the veterans' singles draw and four matches will be contested today to complete the field for the "round of 16."
Kendall Cuffy, who won the title in his first tournament as an over-45 player last year, is seeded to win ahead of former champ and last year's runner-up Rawle Boyce, Neil Lingo and senior veterans' (over-60) top seed Dip Rampersad, respectively.
The clay-court tournament is being contested on a daily basis until March 9 and the main events (men's and women's singles) will take place during the second week.
Order of play: 3 p.m. –
Veterans' singles – R. Williams vs P. Moore; M. Pemberton vs H. Salim; J. David vs E. Simon; F. Ramudit vs M. Reid.
Women's doubles –
O. Haslam/N. Maharaj vs M. Goodridge vs C. Rudlofo.
2nd turn – J. Campbell/D. Coutain vs J. Castillo vs S. Salandy; E. Davis/A. Hart vs C. Arjoon/F. Mohammed.
Men's doubles –
L. Chin/S. Elattwy vs W. Grazette/R. Le Hunte; E. Barry/J. Burrows vs Jabari Davidson/K. Moonasar; N. Patrick/G. Robinson vs A. Escalante/J. Farah.
3rd turn – G. Maharaj/N. McNeill vs T. Davis/B. Gregoire; A. Mukerji/R. Thomas vs S. Hackshaw/N. Lingo; J. Hadeed/S. Pooran vs J. Harris/S. Persad.