DESPITE two commendable performances from Jamal Alexis and Luca Shamsi, TT's fourth-seeded Under-14 tennis team lost 2-0 to Honduras yesterday in the first match of the first to eighth play-off at the 2019 WJT Boys North/Central America & Caribbean Pre-Qualifying event in the Dominican Republic, yesterday.
Nearly six hours of tennis was played in just two singles matches as Alexis and Shamsi took their top-seeded Honduran rivals the full distance.
At 2-0 up, Honduras was declared the match winner, and as a result, both teams deliberated and agreed not to play the scheduled doubles match, presumably in an effort to conserve the teams' energy for today's matches.
Honduras' win meant they advanced to the semifinal and remained favourites to win the title outright. TT will meet Puerto Rico today.
A win will mean TT play either Bermuda or Jamaica for fifth place, while a loss means TT will face either of the same two teams in the seventh/eighth play-off.
Jamal Alexis opened TT's account yesterday and after losing his first set, responded brilliantly in the second to send the match the full distance. In the end, he fell just short to Guillermo Bennaton, 2-6 6-2 7-6(1).
Luca Shamsi stepped up for TT next against Antonio Chavez, and like his team-mate in the previous match, fought back after losing the first set. Chavez, who entered the match having already won all his five previous singles and doubles matches, won the encounter, 2-6 7-6(3) 6-2.
TT started the tournament brightly with two 2-1 wins over El Salvador and the Bahamas but finished the group as runner-up following a 3-0 loss to Costa Rica.
Costa Rica topped the group with three victories and advanced to the first to fourth play-offs yesterday with a 3-0 victory over Bermuda. Dominican Republic and Guatemala also moved to the semifinal stage with 3-0 wins over Puerto Rico and Jamaica, respectively.