Tariq Simons puts No 1 ranking on the line at MTM Singles Championships
Tariq Simons will be aiming to defend not only a title but also his No 1 national ranking as the Manders Tennis Management Singles Championships commence today.
Fresh from being crowned the MTM Masters Invitational champion after a straight-sets victory against Trey Mallory at the end of last year, Simons returns to the Fairmont Southampton court looking to pick up where he left off.
In what proved a dominant year for the 20-year-old, his last triumph was a fifth tournament victory out of six in 2020, as he cemented his place as Bermuda’s No 1 player.
However, while coming into the tournament as favourite, such is the nature of the championships that, should Simons lose, he would not only relinquish the title he won last year, but also his top ranking.
“The exciting thing about this championship is that whoever wins it automatically gets the No 1 seeding for the year,” said Gavin Manders, the MTM director, who lost out to Simons in an epic three-set final last year.
The week-long tournament, will include a seeded Open A Division, an Open B Division, green ball tournament, youth divisions at under-16, under-14 and under-12 age groups, and an under-18 girls’ division.
Despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on much of the island’s sporting calendar, tennis continues to deliver live action.
While Manders remains confident about hosting action through the crisis, he is clear that with all MTM tournaments, strict Covid-19 regulations will be adhered to as a matter of priority.
“Tennis is one of the safest sports you can play while we work through the new Covid-19 normalities,” he added.
“Each court is 500 square metres and will only have two players at a time in that bubble.
“Players will never be in contact with anyone while at the facility if they follow our guidelines, as they will come for their matches and then leave right away.
“The facility will never have more than 15 people at a time and all government guidelines will be followed throughout the event.
“This will be our ninth event through the pandemic, and every event has been approved by the Government.
“We have received high praise for our ability to deliver safe competitions through the Covid-19 pandemic.”