The phrase - "The 3rd time's the charm" - is what Vaughn Wilson was saying yesterday after he won his very first Shell Tranquillity Open Men's Singles tennis title at the Tranquillity Courts, Port-of-Spain on Tuesday.
It was the third final that the 28-year-old Tobagonian contested. However, before yesterday his countryman Yohancey Williams denied him success in 2011 and Richard Chung did the same in 2013.
It was sort of a bittersweet moment as he had to take the title from his childhood friend Akiel Duke who was a first-time winner as well in 2019.
Wilson who set out on a collision course to the title removed the top-seed Nabeel Mohammed in the semi-finals on Monday and returned twenty-four hours later oust the talented second seed Duke 7-5, 6-2.
The first set lasted about just over an hour as the two title challengers were involved in a seesaw battle for championship points. Duke took an early 3-2 lead only for Wilson to break his serve and move level at 3, then proceeded to make it 5-3. It is at that point Duke mounted a courageous comeback to tie the set at 5 games apiece and the two battled for about 15 more minutes on match-point until Wilson captured the first set.
The defending champion tried to make a fight out of the match but his serve let him down time and time again with a few unforced errors.
Additionally, Wilson started to produce several aces ploughing away at the fight in Duke as he eventually wore him down and eased to a 6-2 straight-sets victory.
The icing on the cake was the ace he unleashed at championship point to sound the horns that the new King of Tranquil was Vaugh Wilson.
After the match, Duke told Guardian Media Sports that: "Despite the loss, he still felt good after giving it his all and the better player won on the day and he was happy for his partner Vaughn." He is looking forward to the 2021 edition of the competition as he is eager to regain the title he just lost. A very composed Wilson is already looking towards his title defence.
"The match today was all about fitness. I am happy, I finally won it and I am looking forward to defending it in one month time."
Co-tournament director Beverly Corbie said despite the ten-month delay the tournament was a success with a great showing from the players especially the younger ones like Luca Shamsi and Ella Carrington who are both 15 years of age and made it to the men's semifinal and women's final respectively.
Although no official word has yet been given, plans are already in the making for the 2021 edition of the competition which can get going for two a week starting around the 25th of February.