CARLISTA MOHAMMED predictably captured her second Triple Crown in succession when the 2020 Shell Tranquillity Open Tennis Tournament continued yesterday at the club’s courts, Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain.
The 30-year-old defeated doubles runner-up Ella Carrington — a player half her age — 7-5, 6-3 for her fifth singles title and first Triple Crown in the country’s premier clay-court tournament.
Granted her 6-0, 6-0 crushing of third seed Cameron Wong the day before in the semi-finals, anticipation was high that it would be a walk in the park for Mohammed against the unseeded left-hander. But the top seed was a bundle of nerves and actually found herself trailing 5-2 before battling back to take the last five games to strike first blood.
Carrington, who had whipped last year’s finalist Osenyonye Nwokolo 6-3, 6-3 in the semis, must have been discouraged, but she still made the overwhelming favourite work hard in the second set before the match finally ended with a volley winner after 106 minutes.
Mohammed had combined with Wong and Nabeel Mohammed to capture the doubles and mixed doubles titles just before the two-week tournament was halted at the halfway stage last March 15, owing to the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Fed Cup player had also won her fifth singles titles as well as doubles and mixed doubles in her previous tournament, the National Championships, in the middle of 2019.
Carrington had reached the semis in “Nationals” and was actually attempting to lift her second open singles title in succession yesterday as she had been triumphant in the St James Invitational last February.
Wilson stuns Nabeel, faces
Duke for men’s title
Meanwhile, it will be an all-Tobago battle today when Vaughn Wilson and Akiel Duke square off at 3 p.m. for the men’s crown after very convincing semi-final wins yesterday.
After defeating two-time champ Richard Chung 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 in Sunday’s quarter-finals, unseeded 15-year-old Luca Shamsi was no match for Duke as the second-seeded defending champ marched home 6-0, 6-1.
The other match was a total shock as top-seeded two-time defending national champ Nabeel Mohammed was only able to win one game. His conqueror Vaughn Wilson, another two-time national champ, has probably never played better and he would be the favourite to finally lift his first singles title here with anything resembling what he produced yesterday.
The sixth-seeded 28-year-old had been almost as clinical on Sunday morning when he dismissed third seed Keshan Moonasar 6-3, 6-0 in the quarters.
Sunday’s selected quarter-final results: N. Mohammed bt Ethan Wong 6-2, 6-3; A. Duke bt N. Valdez 6-1, 6-2.