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TRINIDAD - tennis

Date April 07, 2006 by BERNARD BABB

Compliments of the Nation News

TOP SEED Uriel Oquendo of Colombia is into two semi-finals and in search of two titles on his first trip to Barbados.

Rated among the Top 300 in the world in the Boys' Under-18 Division, Oquendo cruised into today's singles semi-finals of the First Caribbean International Tennis Tournament with a clinical 6-2, 6-2 victory over American Jack Boling.

"I think I'm playing well and my aim is to win," he said.

The 17-year-old Oquendo, the son of a former hitting partner of the late tennis legend Arthur Ashe, again appeared in cruise control as he clinically ended the ambitions of Boling.

He will meet Trinidadian Yohansey Williams, the No. 3 seed, in the semis, while No. 2 Jamal Adderley of The Bahamas opposes Michael Clarke of Trinidad.

Adderley, who is also into semi-finals in the doubles, easily eliminated Corey Huggins of St Vincent 6-4, 6-0. Williams defeated Kirill Kasyanov of the United States 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, while his compatriot Michael Clarke was in more outstanding form, ending the run of Italian Barnabas Carrega in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.

Later in doubles play, Oquendo teamed with Miguel Muguruza to defeat Joaquin del Rio-Escalante and Kirill Kasyanov 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 in a quarter-final encounter.

As the tournament heads towards the homestretch, Trinidadian players have been enjoying a flattering run. Along with Williams and Clarke, two girls have qualified for the semi-finals in the under-18 singles competition.

For the second time in two days, No. 1 seed Yolande Leacock rallied from a set down before winning, this time against Italian Giadagiovanna D'Ortona (3-6, 6-2, 6-0).

The Trinidadian top seed will meet Margarita Edinarova of Russia in the semis, while her compatriot Olivia Bennett, the No. 2 seed, opposes another Russian,13-year-old Valeriya Solovieva. Bennett defeated Janique Jessurun of Suriname 6-4, 6-0.

The First Caribbean International Tennis Tournament, now in its 11th year, is hosted by the Barbados Lawn Tennis Association and sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation.


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