12-year-old Saqiv Williams tops bmobile-sponsored Trinity Cup Tennis
Port of Spain, Trinidad, May 1, 2017
Twelve-year-old tennis player, Saqiv Williams, climaxed his performances at the recently held bmobile-sponsored 2017 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Trinidad Trinity Cup in fine style as he captured gold and silver for team Trinidad and Tobago, at the National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua.
Williams, alongside his Boys Under-12 Doubles teammate and compatriot Jamal Alexis, brought a huge sigh of relief to the host nation as they became the only local contestants to be crowned champions throughout the highly competitive tourney. T&T’s boys and girls battled through the ITF ranked Under-18 and COTECC Under-14 categories, but Williams/Alexis triumphed by ironically defeating countrymen Tim Pasea and Beckham Sylvester 4-0, 3-5, 10-7 in the Doubles final to bag top honours.
Prior to the joint victory, the University School (primary) student who hails from Bosses Tennis Academy, previously battled to silver in the Boys Under-12 Singles. Here, Saqiv lost 5-3, 4-2 to Correia Marques while Alexis was third and Pasea fourth. Following his golden and runner-up finishes, the youngster was pleased to see his hard work pay off.
“Leading up to the tournament, my dad (Sonny Williams) and my coach Rhonda Mohammed trained me for up to three hours each day,” he explained. “You have to put in the hard work and keep thinking on the court. It was tough to reach the finals and every opponent was challenging. You must always be ready. Never think that you’re better than anyone, but at the same time, never let anyone think they’re better than you.”
Saqiv, who is scheduled to sit the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) Exam on May 4, has seemed to have found the right balance between his academics and sporting abilities. According to seasoned tennis player and dad, Sonny Williams, while Saqiv’s major focus at this point is on this crucial exam, he is intent on using these recent results as a stepping stone towards further development.
“He’s pretty disciplined in terms of his studies and his sports,” stated his smiling dad. “After SEA, we are going to step up his game. Looking at the higher age category at this competition, you see what level he needs to get at. We will celebrate a little bit for his success now but there’s more work to be done. What Saqiv has achieved in this tournament is as a result of teamwork. His coach and I are formulating a clear cut plan to chart his development over the next 18 months. At the end of the day, this is what he wanted.”
Tournament Director and Tennis Association of Trinidad and Tobago (TennisTT) secretary, Jermille Danclar, expressed deep gratitude to main sponsor bmobile and facility co-ordinators, SporTT, for ensuring that the meet was a resounding success.
“Our interactions with our sponsors and the Sport Company went well,” said Danclar. “This is the first big tournament that we had at the new National Racquet Centre and the foreign players and coaches were impressed with the state-of-the-art facility. We also had live streaming on centre court matches which went very well since they were able to connect to us through our Facebook Page. We hope these partnerships continue to reap great benefit for tennis.”
Danclar also revealed that the region’s biggest Under-14 tournament, JITIC, will be hosted at the Racquet Centre later on this year. He admitted that such a tourney will directly assist in promotion of the sport both locally and throughout the Caribbean.
Senior Manager Brand, Public Relations and External Affairs, Graeme Suite, congratulated all the players, both local and international, on their accomplishments and stated that bmobile was pleased to once again be an integral part of the Trinity Cup.
“This has been the third year in succession that we’re main sponsors,” said Suite. “Congratulations to Saqiv and all the other players who brought the fight for team T&T. bmobile continues to serve as a platform for youth development through sport. It’s one of our four major objectives we work to attain through our Foundation. We hope for a long lasting partnership with the tennis fraternity.”
Also in action for Trinidad and Tobago were top-ranked players, Aidan Carter and Scott Hackshaw, whom were conquered by their foreign counterparts in the ITF Boys Under-18 division. In the girls’ equivalent, the likes of locals Anya King, Jade Tom Yew and Yin Lee Assang challenged well but just missed out on the medal round. And in the Girls Under-14 division, Solange Skeene, Maria Honore and Aalisha Alexis all reached the quarter-final round of Singles competition before being eliminated. In the end, it was the Under 12’s who would take the spotlight off the seasoned campaigners.
Also medalling for T&T in the youngest division was Cameron Wong (silver), who earned silver in the Girls Singles behind Gibelle Beaujon (Curacao). Wong also achieved the same in the Doubles event, with local representative Gabrielle McKenzie, going down to Curacao’s Beaujon/Sarah Nita.
2017 Trinity Cup Trinidad Honour Roll
Boys U-12 Singles – Aldair Correia Marques (Curacao)
Boys U-12 Doubles – Saqiv Williams/Jamal Alexis (T&T)
Girls U-12 Singles –Gibelle Beaujon (Curacao)
Girls U-12 Doubles – Gibelle Beaujon/Sarah Nita (Curacao)
Boys U-14 Singles – John Chin (Jamaica)
Boys U-14 Doubles – John Chin (Jamaica)/ James Mackenzie (Barbados)
Girls U-14 Singles – Deborah Dominguez Collado (Guatemala)
Girls U-14 Doubles – Deborah Dominguez Collado (Guatemala)/ Emma Weech (Bahamas)
Boys U-18 Singles – Kirac Bekisoglu (Turkey)
Boys U-18 Doubles – Kirac Bekisoglu (Turkey)/ Ronan Jachuck (USA)
Girls U-18 Singles – N. Madurawe (USA)
Girls U-18 Doubles – Jenna Dean (USA)/ Fanni Gecsek (Hungary)