Monday, April 15, 2024

Hurricane Tyra levels Trinidad

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THE HURRICANE that swept Barbados at Easter also took Trinidad by storm over the weekend.

Hurricane Tyra Black, a 14-year-old tennis champion with Jamaican and American parentage, won her second ITF international Under-18 tournament  in Port-of-Spain and has started her climb up the international rankings.

Following her arrival in Barbados as an unseeded player, and winning the 21st edition of the ITF tournament in Bridgetown with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Sabina Dadciu of Romania, Black again slammed the field as an unseeded player while taking her second consecutive Under-18 Girls singles title.

Like in Barbados, the daughter of  former Jamaica Davis Cup player and 1993 Pan Am Games runner Sylvester Black, made light work of more experienced and higher ranked opponents.

In Trinidad, the first match for the younger sister of 16-year-old professional Tornado Alicia Black was against the No.1 seed – Daniela Beckman-Morales of Mexico – and her straight sets demolition of the top-seed entrenched her as the raging favourite.

It was probably the toughest draw of her short career, but her 6-1, 6-1 win over the 223-ranked Beckman-Morales started a championship run where she only dropped two sets in the tournament.

The championship play-off was clearly her toughest outing and an encounter that  provided a glimpse of the qualities needed for the making of a champion. Tyra Black came from a set down to defeat No.4 seed Nandini Das of India, 1-6, 6-0, 6-4 and grab the title.

Tyra Black posseses a different and emerging game that  is certain to topple many more opponents. While most international juniors are equipped with top-spin forehands, Black’s sliced, side-spinning forehand has been effectively used as a perfect set-up for a punishing double-fisted back-hand and has been been posing great difficulty for opponents from all around the world.

In two weeks, Black (who was ranked 1050) collected 80 international ranking points for her victories and seems poised to break into the top 800 this coming summer.

Among the boys, Sebastian Arcila of Puerto Rico, the No.9 seed, defeated Chase Burton 6-3, 6-0 to win the Boys’ under-18 singles.

Three Barbadian players were seeded in the singles of the main draw- Dylan Hall (No.6) and Matthew Foster-Estwick (15) among the boys and Kiana Marshall, No. 7 among the girls – but failed to get deep in the tournament .

Hall made some strides in adding points to his international ranking by reaching the quarter-fianls, before losing to semi-finalist Franz Lavidalie-Luna of Guatemala, while Foster-Estwick went out in the round of 16 and Marshall in the first round.

Hall, who reached the doubles final in Barbados with singles champion Zummy Bauer, also reached the quarter-finals of the doubles in Trinidad, teaming with Andrew Quiros of El Salvador.

No.2 seeds Kyle Frankel and Patrick Sydow of Aruba, won the boys’ doubles with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No.4 seeds Chase Burton and Morgan Dill of the United States.

The Trinidad ITF tournament forms part of a Caribbean circuit with Barbados and Guadeloupe and around 120 players from 25 countries took part in the week-long event. (BB)

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