The Cap Maison Eastern Caribbean Tennis Championships, which began March 29 ended with a singles showdown and prize giving ceremony on Saturday at the National Tennis Centre (NTC). Undoubtedly the highlight of this competition was the Mens Open Singles title on Friday with one of St Lucia’s all time greats in the spotlight.
On Friday St Lucia’s Grand Master of tennis and Ageless Wonder, Vernon Lewis, went up
against highly ranked Antiguan Carlton Bedminister for the Mens title. Both players breezed through the tournament not losing a set.
Lewis advanced to the finals defeating a much younger Akeem Gustave (St Lucia). This semi-final hardly lived up to the pre game hype. Gustave who just recently won the Voyager Tournament and was runner-up in the KIA Independence Tennis Tournament looked to be a worthy opponent. No way! Once again experience prevailed over youth, as Lewis came away with a compelling 6-0, 6-2 win.
Bedminister also cruised into the mens final after defeating Keiran President (St Lucia) 6-2, 6-4, setting up Friday’s grand finale with Lewis.
In the Girls 14 division, St Lucian Meggan William defeated Chylsie Sancho of the International Team. Amber Philbert (Micoud) was a semi-finalist in this event losing to Sancho 6-2, 6-2.
William continued her winning ways. She also captured the Girls 12 division title, easily getting past Khadijah Halliday (International Team) in the final 8-0.
Adriel Bousquet (St Lucia) won the Boys Fourteen and Under final beating compatriot Reyhan Jean 6-3, 6-2.
In the Boys 12 and Under final, Nicholas St John (St Lucia) got past Kareem Bowe (International Team) 8-2.
In the Boys 10 and Under final, Akeil Deroche (St Vincent and the Grenadines) defeated Maxx William (St Lucia) 8-4.
Manager of the NTC, Ricardo Bowe while pleased with the way things went at this year’s tournament expressed one particular concern. “My biggest issue right now concerns the players from Vieux Fort,” said Bowe. “In the school tournament we had just over 25 players who were very talented, but for some reason they have not been playing ranking tournaments like the Independence and this one.”
He went on to say: “That is a concern for me. I am not sure if it is a transportation issue or administration issue, but it is something that has to be resolved.”
When asked if there were any surprises or major upsets in this tournament Bowe replied: “I think the biggest surprise would have been Vernon having such an easy win over Akeem. A lot of people probably thought Akeem would have defeated him or given him a lot of trouble. A straight sets victory was nothing anyone could predict.”
Speaking of predictions, he was mum about who would win Friday’s final between Lewis and Bedminister. Hopefully it was one for the ages!