THE rookie Trinidad and Tobago tennis team suffered their fourth defeat to end up tenth of 11 in American Zone Group III of the Davis Cup Saturday in Panama.
After losing 3-0 to Costa Rica and Bermuda and 3-1 against Honduras in the round-robin group stage, the overseas-based debutant were beaten 2-0 by host Panama in the playoff for ninth place.
Only the team from United States Virgin Islands, who lost their three group matches 3-0, finished behind T&T.
Jamaica and Guatemala kept their unbeaten records intact with 2-0 wins over Bahamas and Costa Rica, respectively, to gain promotion to Group II of the world’s premier male team tennis tournament next year.
And Puerto Rico took down Bermuda by the same score to clinch seventh position.
Playing in his first singles match of the four-day competition, American-based 16-year-old David Rodriguez was beaten 6-3, 6-0 by Panama’s Luis Gomez.
And then Kamran McIntosh-Ross, who turned 17 a few weeks ago, failed in his attempt to force the deciding doubles by going down 6-0, 6-4 against Marcelo Rodriguez. He had earned this country’s only point the day before with a convincing 6-1, 6-2 in the opening match in Group B fixture against Honduras.
McIntosh-Ross was the only member of the quartet to be involved in all four fixtures, playing three singles and two doubles. The big server, who reached the Under-14 final of the Catch National Junior Championships in his first tournament down here in 2017 and was crowned national Under-16 champion two years later, had led a T&T Under-16 outfit to the bronze medal in Junior Davis Cup last year.
Rodriguez, the ’18 national Under-14 and 16 champ who has been based in Florida, USA, for the last two years, played doubles against Costa Rica in the opening fixture last Wednesday, and did not appear again until the opening singles match when the tournament concluded on Saturday. The other members of the team were US university student Nkrumah Patrick and Ebolum Nwokolo.
Patrick at age 24 is the only non-teenager on the squad. He played in all three doubles matches and in singles in the first two fixtures (against Costa Rica and Bermuda).
Spain-based Nwokolo, 18, the country’s top-ranked junior last year, played only in singles -- in the second and third fixtures against Bermuda and Costa Rica. Multiple national and Tranquillity Open champ Carlista Mohammed was a last-minute replacement as captain (coach) after the withdrawal of Rodney Ross.