Barbados to take on tough Dominican Republic
Barbados’ Davis Cup team is just one week away from their biggest test.
But make no mistake, Darian King, Haydn Lewis and Seanon Williams are all up to the task.
That is the word from the team’s non-playing captain, Kevin Yarde, who has admitted that while it won’t be easy to defeat the Dominican Republic in their Group 1 encounter starting next Friday at the National Tennis Centre, it is a very realistic possibility.
Speaking to the media during a Press conference at the Centre’s Wildey headquarters this afternoon, Yarde said while the visitors had a top 50 ranked player at their disposal, he believed the home side still had a good chance of causing an upset.
“All of the guys are prepared and ready to go next weekend. We know it’s going to be a tough one but we believe that we can pull it out at home especially.
“They are getting prepared and looking forward to this challenge. It’s going to be a tough one, the toughest one I think, but we are up to it,” he confidently stated.
“Everyone is getting in some match play and getting the final preparations down for next week.”
He revealed that King, the island’s best player –– who led Barbados to their first ever promotion to Group 1 –– was currently competing in a tournament in Panama, along with fellow teammate Seanon Williams.
The other member of the team, southpaw Haydn Lewis is currently in Florida training.
Yarde noted that while King was now at his highest ever ranking of 297, the Dominican Republic’s two top players, Victor Estrella and Jose Hernandez were ranked 48 and 62 respectively.
Both King and Lewis would have had an up close and personal look against their opponents, having played against them at last year’s Central American and Caribbean Games.
During that matchup, King lost to Estrella 0-6, 6-3, 3-6, while Lewis went down in a two hard-fought sets to Hernandez, 4-6, 4-6.
However, Yarde isn’t too worried about those defeats.
“We know their top two players very well. Darian has played quite a bit against Jose and he has done well against him at all times. Victor has had his last two wins against Darian, more recently at the CAC Games in Verzcruz,” he said.
“Despite losing, it was a very interesting match and we learned a lot. We know these guys very well. We have our plans in place and we just have to go out there and execute.”
The winning team will go on to play Ecquador in the second round for a chance to play in the World Group playoffs.
Vice-president of the Barbados Tennis Association and events coordinator Sandra Osborne also revealed some renovations had been made to the Tennis Centre as required by the International Tennis Federation.
She said the fence surrounding the playing area had been lowered so spectators’ vision wouldn’t be obscured.
Additionally, she noted additional seating would also be provided at the venue, with accommodation being provided for 500 persons.
Both Osborne and Yarde called for Barbadians to come out and support the home team in what will be the biggest ever tennis tie hosted on the island.