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Young stars send No. 4 seeds packing

By Shammi Kowlessar

YOUNGSTERS Elan Mendes and Jelani Davidson produced a stunning upset to advance to the men's doubles semifinals when the BG T&T Tranquillity Open Tennis Tournament continued yesterday at the club's courts, Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain.

Mendes, who won an ITF (International Tennis Federation) under-14 singles title and three in doubles in 2011, and Davidson, who secured the ITF under-14 singles crowns in all three legs of a Caribbean Junior Circuit in the middle of last year, sent No. 4 seeds Kendall Cuffy and Richard McLetchie packing, 6-4, 6-2.

The No. 6 seeds will oppose second seeds Dunstan Denoon and Jovani Lewis tomorrow after the Tobagonians halted fifth-seeded Auguste brothers, Colin and Dion, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 in yesterday's other quarterfinal encounter.

The other two quarters will be contested from four p.m. today.

Top seeds and defending champs, Yohansey Williams and Vaughn Wilson of Tobago will be opposing former top player Winnington Grazette and Robert Le Hunte, a veteran who has been residing and competing in Barbados for around a decade but is playing in his first tournament at home.

The other match in the top half of the draw will involve No. 7 seeds Nabeel Mohammed and Aaron Soo Ping Chow against fellow juniors Keshan Moonasar and Davidson's older brother, Jabari.

Defending mixed doubles champs, Denoon and Breana Stampfli, who captured a triple crown last year, allowed under-14 players Emma Rose-Trestrail and Sanjeev Seenath just one game in the first of the mixed doubles quarters. The other three will be played today.

Cindy Kabli, runner-up to Stampfli in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles draw last year, was forced to say goodbye in the latter event, yesterday. Her partner Liam Gomez, a member of the Davis Cup team for the last three years, has the virus, and they were forced to default and send Nkrumah Patrick and Makalah Goodridge straight into the quarters.

The unseeded players will come up against Soo Ping Chow and Aryanne Hart, who were deadlocked at 5-5 with Sanjay Pooran and Leontien Snijders when the former retired with an injury.

Kheron Ward also gave up with an injury when he and Olivia Haslam were trailing McLetchie and Donna Chin Lee 7-5, 3-3.

The fourth seeds will have to deal with the No. 5 seeds today as former national champ and two-time "Tranquil" singles runner-up Richard Chung and Sarah Escalante whipped Moonasar and Juliet Campbell 6-3, 6-2.

The other quarterfinal fixture will be between Lewis and Leah Alcala, who defeated Neil Lingo and Emma Davis 6-3, 6-3 on Monday night, and Jemel Harris and Celine Ramsumair, 6-4 7-6 (7/5) winners over Adam Escalante and Bridgette Garcia on Sunday.

First serve today is at four p.m.

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