Touring St Lucians Make Tennis History

Future tennis stars

Saint Lucians made history in the recently concluded International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Confederacion de Tenis en Centroamerica y El Caribe (COTECC) tournaments held recently in St Vincent and Tobago. In the St Vincent leg of the ITF tour (Aug 13 – Aug 18) half of the Boys 14 semi-final draw comprised of St. Lucians with Taqel Lewis and James Stevenson battling their way to the semi-final. However, Taqel was ousted at that stage by Jelani Davidson (COTECC Ranking – #2) and James by Nabeel Mohammed (COTECC Ranking-#6). However, the St Lucians were far from going to rest in this international tournament. In the doubles history was made when the teams of James Stevenson/Tjimon Louisy and Taqel Lewis/Adriel Bousquet defeated all opposition to set up a historical first of an all St Lucian doubles final in an international tournament. The team of Lewis and Bousquet pulled off a shocker when, to the disbelief of many, defeated the number one ranked team of Davidson and Mohammed. The tour then moved over to Tobago where Tjimon and Taqel were joined by Jean Philippe Murray for the ITF Boys 14 tournament (Aug 18 – Aug 25). The St Lucian trio of Tjimon, Taqel and Jean Philippe, did themselves and their country proud by progressing decisively through the tournament. At the end of the preliminary roundS all three boys topped their respective singles group resulting in Lewis and Louisy sharing the No. 1 seeded positions and Murray the No. 3 position. Going into the main draw Lewis and Murray won their matches to each reach the semi final stage where they were both eventually defeated by Trinidadians Jelani Davidson and Nabeel Mohammed respectively. Louisy had previously fought a hard match, in the quarter finals, before losing to Trinidadian Mohammed. In the doubles matches Lewis and Murray played well to gain a semi-final berth but were beaten by Mohammed and Davidson who then qualified to play in the doubles final against Louisy and his Trinidadian partner, Joshua Arnold. St Lucia’s historic run in tennis this season continued when 13 year old Murray was joined in Tobago by 11 year olds Adriel Bousquet and Meggan William to represent the island in the 13 and Under Caribbean Development Tennis Championships (Aug 25 – Sep 02). Team St. Lucia’s participation was successful as the three youngsters guided St Lucia to its highest ever finish in the Caribbean Development Championships. Bousquet and Murray brought home silver medals in the Boys Doubles category going down to Aruba 7-6(4), 6-4 in a closely fought final. To get to the final Murray/Bousquet carved through the Guyanese and Trinidadian teams. Murray captured a bronze medal in the singles category defeating Joshua Arnold of Trinidad in the third place playoff. Bousquet, the youngest boy in the tournament, finished 10th. Meggan William, one of the youngest girls in the tournament, fought well in the girls category, teaming up with her Grenadian counterpart for the doubles semi-final but going down 6-1, 6-2 to eventual champions Suriname. William finished her singles campaign in 8th place. The combined efforts of Murray/Bousquet/William meant that team St Lucia finished with 19 points enough to ensure a third place finish. This was the best ever performance by a St Lucian team in a U13 Developmental Tournament. Suriname were crowned champions and Aruba secured second place. These successes by our St Lucian young warriors certainly augurs well for the development of tennis and the youth on the island. Our young people are working hard as they dream of reaching the apex of their sport. With the continued support of the St. Lucia Tennis Association and sponsors such as LUCELEC, ECFH and Pinnacle (St. Lucia) these dreams can become a reality.

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