VAUGHN Wilson dethroned Akiel Duke as men’s singles champion at the 2020 Shell Tranquillity Open tennis tournament, which continued at the Tranquillity Tennis Courts, Port of Spain on Tuesday.
In the all-Tobago final, the sixth-seeded Wilson defeated his close friend, the second-ranked Duke, 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 34 minutes.
This tournament, which began on March 7, resumed last Friday after a ten-month long break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Carlista Mohammed took the women’s singles crown, courtesy of a 7-5, 6-3 win over Ella Carrington.
For Wilson, this was his first Tranquil men’s singles title.
“I’m just thankful for this win against Duke, a player I know since juniors,” said Wilson. “I was a little fitter in the second set, and I pulled it off.”
According to Duke, “It was very competitive in the first set. Despite the loss, I gave it my all and congratulations to Vaughn on his title.”
Duke added, “We have a respect and an understanding, but we always say to each other ‘we go out there, we war but as the match is finished, we’re back to brothers’.”
Duke said he struggled with the clay surface on Tuesday. “I was struggling with the movement, on the court, with the surface.”
Asked how he kept himself going during the covid19 lockdown, Wilson replied, “I had much time to think about (this) tournament and the tournaments to come this year. I just prepared mentally. I had a short-term goal to get fit and maintain consistent training.”
The 2021 Shell Tranquillity Open is expected to take place in either February or March.
Wilson said, “I’m looking forward to trying to win again.”
Duke mentioned, “I’m going back to the drawing board in the morning, I’m working hard and I’m going to give it my all.”
This 2020 tournament will go on a two-day break, before it resumes with the veterans’ singles division on Friday.