THE first tennis competition in the country in over seven months was left hanging in the balance on Sunday, but it was not because of coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Junior Team Tournament was scheduled last weekend, but after a full day of play on Saturday at Trinidad Country Club, Maraval, not a serve was hit on the second and final day because of rain.

And with the Lease Operators Limited Junior Tournament scheduled over the next two weekends, officials and team captains have still not decided when to facilitate its conclusion.

No ranking points were available in the Junior Team Tournament, which was arranged as a “warm up” for “Lease”, the first official competition in Trinidad since the sport was shut down in the middle of the Tranquillity Open Tournament on March 14 because of the pandemic.

Team Carlos Taylor, comprising the likes of 2018 ‘Tranquil” champion Aidan Carter in his first competition in 18 months, and last year’s top junior Luca Shamsi won both times on Saturday.

The favourites, coached by coach Neil Lingo, brushed aside team Colleen De Gannes 49-23, but then had to pull out all the stops to edge team Hayden Salim 37-35 just before press time.

Team Salim, coached by national champion Carlista Mohammed and led by top female juniors Ella Carrington and Zara Ghuran had finished in a pulsating tie (36-all) against Team Dave Patrick earlier in the day. It is a straight round-robin competition and Team Taylor will be the champs if they defeat Team Patrick in their final encounter.

Team Patrick, coached by Jerome Ward and including the likes of Ebolum Nwokolo, Ethan Wong and Caribbean Under-12 champ Kale Dalla Costa also have to face Team De Gannes whenever the tournament ends.

The Anthony Jeremiah-captained Team De Gannes, including national U-14 champ Cameron Wong and national U-16 champ Aalisha Alexis, also have two fixtures and their other opponents will be Team Salim.

The teams were named in honour of three stalwarts — De Gannes, one of the leading officials in the region as well as coaches Patrick and Salim — who passed recently, and Taylor, a leading coach and tournament organiser who died a few years ago.

The Under-10 and 12 players will be in action from Friday until Sunday in “Lease”, while the Under-14, 16 and 18 divisions will be contested from next week Friday.

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