Local sports — St. Thomas
When the 2012 USVI National Tennis Team departs for Tobago this week to compete in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Davis Cup presented by BNP Paribas it will be faced with its toughest opposition it has faced in over eight years. This year’s five member team, captained by Stanford Myrie-G of St. Croix, will consist of Brian Oldfield of St. John, Kristepher Elien and Nicholas Bass both of St. Croix and Alric “Ricky” Plaskett of St. Thomas.
2005 was the last time the USVI competed in Group III of Davis Cup where it finished 7th after earning a hard fought promotion the previous year. With the ever increasing cost of putting together large international events such as Davis Cup the International Tennis Federation (ITF) decided late in 2011 to
combine groups III and IV, and the USVI was invited to compete. Soon thereafter, Virgin Islands Tennis Association President Bill McComb began making the necessary arrangements for the team to be represented including finalizing the team selection process, securing additional funding for participation and arranging player travel itineraries.
“This year process has been very organized and the communication among everyone has been great.” said Plaskett, the most senior competitor on this year’s team, who last represented the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2008 in Honduras. “Often as players you take for granted what goes on behind the scenes and the preparation involved for sending a team to a high level professional competition such as Davis Cup. VITA President Bill McComb and Captain Stan Myrie-G are commended for their timely and consistent communication especially when the team members reside in many different States and are often traveling back and forth to the Virgin Islands. The players are up for the challenge this year you can just fell it in our communication. We all take great pride in representing the Virgin Islands and the added
pressure involved in performing at a high level. We all have multiple years of experience especially playing in front of large crowds and Coach Stan is poised to lead us. He is very knowledgeable about the game. He will challenge us. Challenge us to play smart and to play hard and leave it all on the court.”
Although the members of the team are training stateside individually, they will have a few days to work
out together prior to the beginning of play. This year Davis Cup Tie will be hosted by Trinidad and Tobago from June 18th-24. Trinidad edged the USVI two matches to one in last year’s Davis Cup Tie in Bolivia. Also competing in this year’s group pool play are Aruba, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.