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Tariq Simons claims hat-trick of titles at Deloitte Open

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Triple crown: Tariq Simons won three trophies at the Deloitte Open (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Tariq Simons geared up for his return to Davis Cup action for Bermuda by clinching three titles at the Deloitte Open Tennis tournament, which concluded at Pomander Gate Tennis & Pickleball Club on Saturday.

Simons, who is part of the island’s Davis Cup team departing for Paraguay on Thursday for an Americas group three engagement, won the men’s A singles and doubles, as well as the mixed doubles.

On Friday, the 23-year-old triumphed 6-4, 7-6 over Jack Keyes, with the clash between Bermuda’s Davis Cup team-mates lasting for 2hrs 40min as Simons regained his title as the island’s No 1 singles player.

Simons was back on the court to partner Caitlyn Conyers, Bermuda’s former international cyclist, in the mixed doubles final against Evan Heyliger and Nadhira Durham.

In another marathon encounter, the match went on until the early hours of Saturday morning before Simons and Conyers sealed a 5-7, 7-5, 12-10 victory.

Tariq Simons beat Jack Keyes in the Deloitte Open final (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Simons did not have much time to rest as he had coaching duties to perform on Saturday morning and hours later, he was back on court with Scott Redmond in the doubles final, with Keyes and Heyliger at the opposite end.

Redmond and Simons came back from a set down to win the match 3-6, 6-3, 10-4, to allow Simons to pick up his third trophy.

“It’s been a really successful event for me,” Simons told The Royal Gazette.

“It definitely pushed me physically and emotionally, as it showed because I was going for a relatively big achievement in local tennis right now.

“My mixed doubles match finished at 1am. I then got up to coach because I’m a full-time coach and I have my obligations and love my job.

“In the mixed doubles, I had a partner who was supporting me. Caitlyn Conyers was amazing. She’s grown close to me over the last couple of months and we ended up playing mixed doubles together because she’s getting quite good at tennis as well.

Jack Keyes Deloitte Open in action in the Deloitte Open final (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

“The doubles final started at 3pm on Saturday and I came out slow but I chose my partner well. Scott knows me well so we were able to get the win off his energetic response to mine.

“He woke me up and we were able to play our best tennis, and we came up with the win and I ultimately won a triple crown, which is really nice.

“I won the men’s doubles last year with David Thomas, but I had never won the singles at this event, so it’s nice to win all three this year.”

Success at Pomander Gate has helped Simons to get his mind in the right place for the Davis Cup.

“The mental aspect of the game is the most precious to me and it’s the one that brings out my best tennis,’’ Simons said.

Scott Redman partnered Tariq Simons to win the men's doubles (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

“To know that I have a couple of wins under my belt before I leave to go and represent Bermuda, I think that will be good.

“It all starts from within, so my fundamentals are all set when I leave to go play matches in Paraguay. I’m feeling good, I'm set up for success at the moment and I’m to see how that manifests in the next two weeks.”

Commenting on his triumph over Keyes, Simons did not view it as getting revenge for last year’s loss against the same opponent.

Tobiah Goodchild won the men's B singles and doubles (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

“It’s definitely sweet and I wouldn't call it revenge because Jack is now officially my team-mate, but I’m definitely satisfied to get the victory this year,’’ he added.

“Last year was heartbreaking on multiple levels, where I missed out on the Davis Cup opportunity in Paraguay. Now I can tell the children that I coach that I’m the No 1 player again and if ever they come to Pomander Gate, they can see my name on the wall as proof.

“Some of them know me as Coach Blueberry, and they don't really believe that I’m the No 1 player in Bermuda. It’s nice to have a bit of information in the background to solidify the spot.

Nadhira Durham won the women’s singles at the Deloitte Open (Photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Nadhira Durham, the women’s A singles champion, did not match that success in the doubles. losing along with her partner, Shelby Madeiros, to Erika Bove and Sarah Jones.

Tobiah Goodchild, one of the island’s most promising junior players, won the men’s B division singles and the doubles.

The 15-year-old defeated Raul Maldonado 6-0, 6-0 in the singles title decider and earlier teamed up with Zachary McGuire to overcome Rob de Becker and Felipe Palacios 6-2, 7-6 in the doubles final.

“I played really well but I think I need to work on my consistency and my shot selection,’’ Goodchild said.

“I've to hit smarter shots at the right time, instead of showboating and being a crowd pleaser, that’s how my coaches describe me.”

There was also double success for Shonette Wilson, who won the women's singles, 45 and over, before she combined with Sophie Campeau to win the B doubles.

Sarah Cook, the tournament manager, described the nine-day event as a great success.

“We’ve just had a successful tournament,” she said. “We had great weather, fabulous turnout and it’s very promising to see how vibrant the tennis community is in Bermuda.

“We were delighted to have players representing Bermuda next week in the Davis Cup join us. We also had some of the women’s Billie Jean King Cup team members with us in this tournament.”

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Published June 09, 2024 at 12:10 pm (Updated June 10, 2024 at 12:29 am)

Tariq Simons claims hat-trick of titles at Deloitte Open

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