Reigning men’s singles champion Nabeel Mohammed remained on course to defend his title at the 2019 National Open Tennis Championships at the National Racquet Centre, Tacarigua, last evening. But Mohammed had to stave off a brave effort from Vaughn Wilson in the quarter-finals. He was pushed hard in the first set but emerged 6-4, before going on to win the second set slightly easier 6-3.
Speaking to Guardian Media Sports after his victory, Mohammed said, “I was solid and Vaughn is an extremely tough opponent and I’m just happy to get the win.”
He admitted he faces a tough task ahead to regain his title.
“The tournament is of a very high calibre. This is the tournament that all the big players come out to. It’s actually hard for me because I have the harder side of the draw and my goal is hopefully to win it,” he said.
In the other quarter-final matches of the men’s singles, Akiel Duke made light work of Praveen Kumar, seeing off his opposite number 6-2, 6-0, while Keshan Moonasar won by default against Dunstan Denoon.
Another Mohammed – Carlista Mohammed – was also in winner's row. The reigning Tranquillity Open ladies singles champion cruised past Abigail Jones 6-0, 6-0 to sail into the semi-finals of the tournament. The runner-up in that same tournament, Osenyonye Nwokolo, fell to Trevine Sellier. The latter took the first set 6-3 before Nwokolo fought back hard in the second. However, Sellier was able to triumph 6-3, 7-6 (4). Farrah Chautilal had less trouble against Teresa Rosemond, inflicting a 6-0, 6-2 defeat on her opponent.
Among the veteran men, Farid Youssef had to fight hard to overcome Cliff Meade in the quarter-final match. While Youssef won the first set 6-3, the second went to a tie-break, which he just about managed to nick 7-6. Dion Auguste also had a tough battle on his hands against Andy Boyce. He had to stay focused in a 6-3, 6-4 win that saw him through to the final four of his division. Richard Mc Letchie won by default over Ivor Jack.
The tournament continues this afternoon at the National Racquet Centre.