AALISHA ALEXIS produced by far the biggest victory of her career yesterday to advance to the women’s A division singles final of the East Clubs Classified Tennis Tournament at Trinidad Country Club, Maraval.
The national Under-18 champion nosed out top seed and overwhelming title favourite Carlista Mohammed 7-5, 3-6, 11/9, while the No. 2 also failed to reach Sunday’s final as Tranquillity Open runner-up Ella Carrington was edged 4-6, 6-2, 10/2 by Jordane Dookie.
Alexis skipped singles in both junior tournaments last year, but began this season with a bang by winning the Under-18 title in the Catch National Junior Championships on Friday.
However the country’s top junior of 2019 had suffered a routine straight-set loss to Mohammed in the final of last edition of the National Championships in the middle of that year, and few would have predicted her turning the table at this stage against an opponent playing much better than she was then.
Mohammed had not only gone on to capture all three titles—singles, doubles and mixed doubles—in the “Tranquil”, she had taken less than half-hour to dismiss “Catch” national Under-14 and 16 champ Jaeda-Lee Daniel-Joseph here in Sunday’s quarter-finals.
Dookie has been able to push the reset button admirably after a miserable showing in “Catch” where she was taken out by Brianna Harricharan in the under-14 semis in the upset of the tournament last Wednesday.
The 14-year-old started to regain her confidence in Sunday’s quarter-finals when she came from a set down to defeat Trevine Sellier.
And yesterday Dookie, who had also only been able to win three games from Carrington in the “Catch” Under-16 semis, looked more like the player who had lifted the Under-18 trophy in the Lease Operators Limited Junior Tournament in October with another strong come-from-behind victory.
The second-round of the men’s singles draw was completed yesterday.
Akiel Duke dismissed Under-16 player Saqiv Williams 6-0, 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals, and the No. 2 seed now has a clear path to Sunday’s title match as fourth-seeded former national and “Tranquil” champ Richard Chung did not show for his match.
Che Sanchez accepted the gift, while third seed Keshan Moonasar scored a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 triumph over “Catch” Under-16 runner-up Sebastien Byng and Ronald Robinson took down Williams’ father Sonny 6-4, 6-1 to complete the quarter-final line-up.
Top seed and defending champ Nabeel Mohammed had reached the last eight the day before, along with Kino Francis, national Under-18 champ Ethan Wong and former top player Seve Day.
There is also B and C singles action and doubles draws in all three divisions in the two-weekend competition.
The third annual tournament will continue on Friday.