The Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Americas Zone Group III event got under way on Monday at the Shaw Park Tennis Facility in Tobago, on the island country of Trinidad & Tobago.
Ten nations are competing in the week-long event that will see its decisive moment in this weekend’s play-offs. The teams are initially divided into two round-robin pools with two promotion places up for grabs, but there will be no relegation as Americas Zone Group IV has now been merged with Group III.
In Pool A, the hosts Trinidad & Tobago got their campaign off to a perfect start with a 3-0 win over Aruba, another island nation in the Caribbean. Despite the clear victory, the matches were more evenly contested that what the score may suggest.
The opening match ended with a two-set victory for the local player Liam Gomez over Aruba’s Gian Hodgson. However, the score 75 76(6) is proof of a hard fought match that was decided in a handful of crucial points in which Gomez held his nerve.
The second singles match was a more comfortable affair for Yohansey Williams, who beat Ibian Hogdson 63 62. The final doubles match between Trinidad’s Luke De Caires and Vaughn Wilson and Aruba’s Mitchell De Jong and Gian Hogdson was the only one decided in the third set and the victory was once more for the locals 64 46 64.
In the other Pool A tie, Guatemala and Haiti had the starring role in the most contested clash of the day. The Guatemalans eventually clinched a tight win 2-1 over Haiti.
The first rubber was for Haiti in a three-set match between Guatemala’s Julen Uriguen and Haiti’s Austin Gonzales 62 36 63. But Guatemala reacted and Christopher Diaz-Figueroa got the equalising point against Olivier Sajous also in three sets 64 36 62.
The decisive doubles rubber resulted in a much contested match in which Figueroa and Uriguen partnered to beat Joel Allen and Gonzales 75 75.
In Pool B, Bahamas started in the same style as the locals and got a comprehensive victory over US Virgin Islands. The three matches were clearly won by the Bahamians who only dropped 16 games in their debut in the event.
Rodney Carey beat Kristepher Elien in the first singles rubber 62 64 and was followed by Marvin Rolle who only drop five games to beat Brian Oldfield 63 62. The doubles rubber ended with a 61 64 victory for Carey and Rolle over Alric Plaskett and Nicholas Bass.
In the other tie in Pool B, Costa Rica beat Jamaica 2-1. The Costa Ricans won the first two single matches but the Jamaicans managed to get a point from the final doubles rubber that could prove useful for the final positions at the end of the week.
Costa Rica’s Pablo Roca beat Jamaica’s Dominic Pagon in the opening game 64 75 and Ignaci Roca sealed the victory in the tie by winning the second singles game 63 62. Brandon Burke and Pagon partnered in the double to avoid the whitewash after comprehensively beating Pablo Nunez and Roca 60 62.