King’s the man

Barbados’ number one keeps island in contention

Barbados came from behind to level their Davis Cup Group l relegation tie against Uruguay 1-1 when local number one Darian King delivered another pleasing win in front of home fans today at the National Tennis Center, Wildey.

Barbados’ number two Seanon Williams took to the court first up to face Uruguay’s top player in the tie and Santiago Maresca captured a straight set win, 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. Maresca was playing in the competition for the first time.

Darian King produced another win to level the tie against Uruguay. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)
Darian King produced another win to level the tie against Uruguay. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)

The task was left up to King to bring Barbados back into this historic showdown as the two sides met for the first time in the Davis Cup. And as usual King did not disappoint with a comfortable 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory in the second and final singles match of the day against Rodrigo Arus. The win gave local supporters that included students from various schools including Grantley Prescod, Luther Thorne, Providence and St Winifred’s, something to cheer about.

At the start of the match King looked as though he was having warm-up sessions when he played some great shots all around his opponent. Arus made several errors and found it difficult to cut the pace down when King got his serves right.

The local boy went ahead 2-0 and Arus did commendably to win the third set when King got a little too comfortable and allowed the visitor to feel his way back into the match. King did not seem too happy with some of the calls made by the officials at this stage of the game and with the score on 5-2 in this set King made Arus work for the win when they were six deuces and the Barbadian found the advantage and took the point 3-5 but it was not long after that Arus took the game 6-1 in that set.

King came out in the fourth set with a vengeance and took the first game but Arus managed to tie it at 1-1. After that there was no fooling around from there on when the Barbados star composed himself and closed it out easily.

After the game King summarized his two-hour long performance to the media.

“Not a very good day at the office but I mean all together I am still glad I came out victorious. I think I got too comfortable in the match. I was rolling through playing well because he [Arus] was making a lot of mistakes for me to get up two sets to love and I played too lackadaisical and I paid the price in the third set. But I focused in the fourth and shut down the last set easily.”

In the first singles game Williams made some errors that cost him the match to Maresca. One of his downfalls was placement, even though his serves and forearm shots were on when he got them right.

Santiago Maresca won the first game for Uruguay against Barbados’ Seanon Williams.
Santiago Maresca won the first game for Uruguay against Barbados’ Seanon Williams.

Williams acknowledged his mistakes and reemphasize the need for more match practice outside of Barbados in order to prepare himself for the big stage such as this one.

“I mean I did not execute well. But I felt a lot more comfortable with some of the decisions I made in terms of my movement but not necessarily the placement. I did not play very well up until the last three four games of the final set and I could only repeat myself so many times. It is just for me to play more tournaments, getting use to the pressure and stuff. As I said before I can feel as comfortable as I want during practice but practice does not count. It matters on the court and when you represent Barbados you want to feel as comfortable as possible and I have not found that yet so I will keep pushing,” Williams said.

He noted that he believed in himself but needed the right people in corporate Barbados to feel the same way and support him.

Tomorrow at 11 a.m. is the start of the doubles match where King and partner Haydn Lewis will team up against Maresca and Arus and neither captains are worried and believe strongly their players have what it takes to come out on top.

Barbados team captain Kevin Yarde in particular has high hopes for his men.

“I have confidence in the two of these guys playing doubles so I think we have a good chance of pulling off tomorrow’s doubles. They compliment one another very well so we should be fine. Once they go out there and execute and stick to the basics we should come out on top,” Yarde said.

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