TT’s Under-14 tennis team yesterday lost their first match at the 2019 WJT Boys North/Central America & Caribbean Pre-Qualifying event in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, falling 3-0 to fifth-seeded Costa Rica.
Despite the loss, the fourth-seeded TT trio finished runner-up in Group D and advanced from the group stage into the first to eighth play-off thanks to its two 2-1 wins against El Salvador and the Bahamas on the first two days. Costa Rica topped the group with three wins.
TT’s Jamal Alexis lost his first singles event of the tournament after three matches when he met Andres Caceres, who entered the match having won all his previous singles and doubles matches. Caceres won the encounter 2-6, 1-6.
Up next, Luca Shamsi, who previously lost his two singles matches against El Salvador and Bahamas, went under a third time when he met his Costa Rican opponent Adrian Quiros.
Shamsi put up a strong challenge in the first set but fell well short in the second and eventually lost the match 4-6, 1-6, at which point Costa Rica would have cemented their position atop the group.
In the end, Costa Rica took a clean sweep winning the doubles match, while TT suffered their first doubles defeat.
Alexis and Williams went up against an on-form Caceres, who partnered with team-mate Javier Araya, who also entered unbeaten, and were defeated 1-6, 4-6.
El Salvador met the Bahamas in the other Group D match and finished in third place with a 2-1 win.
Today, TT, led by coach/captain Jerome Ward, will return to action in the quarter-final stage for their stiffest test yet against top-seeded Honduras, which topped Group A convincingly with three wins.