SHERDON Pierre, who won a singles title at the Westchester March 2021 Little Open tournament, dedicated the victory to his aunt who recently died.
The tournament was played at the Westchester Table Tennis Centre in Pleasantville, New York.
Pierre, ranked fourth, won the Under-2000 category on Saturday which was the third division in the tournament.
In the round of 16, Pierre defeated Rosine Dongo 11-8, 14-12, 12-14 and 11-4 to advance to the quarter-finals.
Pierre was ruthless in the quarter-final round with an 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 victory over Adeel Rajput to book a spot in the final four.
Pierre was facing elimination in the semifinals after losing the first two games 11-9, 12-10 to Amir Khan.
However, Pierre’s game improved as the match progressed as he won the next three games 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 to advance to the final.
Danny Wan was now standing in the way of Pierre capturing the title.
Wan played convincingly through the earlier rounds only losing two games on his way to the final.
Pierre jumped out to a two-game lead winning the first game 11-8 and the second 12-10. Wan cut Pierre’s lead in half with an 11-9 victory in the third game.
It was not meant to be for Wan as Pierre sealed the match and the title with an 11-7 win in the fourth game.
Pierre is in New York serving as Tyrese Knight’s coach and manager but had some time to play in the tournament. Knight, a Barbadian table tennis player, is in the US competing in tournaments to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Pierre said, “The players were quite tricky, but I persevered in the end. On the day of the tournament, my sister gave me some motivation. She said I had to win the tournament because my mother needs a new phone for Mother’s Day. She will be getting a phone on Mother’s Day once I am granted exemption to return home. I would like to dedicate this title to my Aunt Gertrude who passed away while I was abroad. It was a difficult time.”
Pierre also thanked his family in New York for their support along with the Westchester tournament organisers and former top Barbadian player Robert Roberts.
Roberts lives in New York and encourages Caribbean players to compete. Roberts is a two-time Caribbean champion.
Pierre said a rating system was used during the tournament. It is a system that Pierre has been trying to introduce in Trinidad and Tobago, but has not received support from local table tennis officials.