Caribbean Squash: Fernandes, Best to clash in dream final
By Akeem Greene
The future in Megan Best, and the been-there-done-that in Nicolette Fernandes, will meet in the Women’s Singles final of the Senior Caribbean Squash Tournament, which is being held at the Georgetown Club, Guyana.
Best and Fernandes had testing semi-finals Monday evening, which should make both primed for the epic showdown which most persons in the fraternity are raving to witness.
Fernandes, who is without doubt the country’s best product in the sport, will hunt her sixth title at 36 years old, while the youth of Best will still eye her chances for a third title at the age of 17. The final is scheduled for 19:30h today.
The Barbadian star, who is the number one seed in the tournament, bested Guyanese Taylor Fernandes in straight sets. The scores of 11-5, 11-9, 11-5 only tell half of the story of what was a gripping battle. At times the finesse of Best was without doubt something to marvel at.
After going down in the first set, Fernandes, a 2017 Junior Caribbean champion, came romping in the second. With every point she scored, the crowd roared with the cheer, “Go Taylor.”
She took the match on the cusp of deuce in the second set, but the experience and true talent of Best wiped the hopes away.
The other match pitted two close friends but on the court, it was strictly business. Mary Fung-A-Fat had inspired moments early into the proceedings, however, Nicolette’s game awareness was impeccable. She quickly anticipated the spots for retrieval and then dispatched to the tightest of positions.
The all-Guyanese battle which ended with a hug, saw Nicolette winning 11-4, 11-3, 11-8.
Meanwhile, Richard Chin, the lone Guyanese male in the semi-final, lost 8-11, 8-11, 5-11 to title favourite Cameron Stafford. The latter plays Jamaican Christopher Binnie in the final at 20:15h.
The Men’s Doubled pair of Kristian Jeffrey and Jason-Ray Kahlil were sublime against the Cayman Islands’ counterparts Jake Kelly and Julian Jervis. The Guyanese pair won 11-10, 11-5 to face the toughest test in Barbadians Khamal Cumberbatch and Shawn Simpson at 11:00h today.
The Bajans won 11-5, 11-18 against the Jamaican pair of Thajia Lumley and Julian Morrison.
Likewise, Taylor Fernandes and Ashely Kahlil stormed into the final by topping Trinidadians Marie-Claire Barcant and Jaime-Leigh Edghill 11-0, 11-7. It sets up a huge clash with top-ranked Barbadians Megan Best and Amanda Haywood, from 12:00h.
In the Mixed Doubles, Cayman Islands’ pair of Cameron Stafford and Marlene West came atop a gruelling battle with Nyron Joseph and Larissa Wiltshire 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, to reach the final, where they play Trinidadians Charlotte Knaggs and Chayse McQuan from 13:00h.