SPORTS – Victory in sight

Barbados’ hopes of staying alive in the Davis Cup Group l competition for 2016 is one game away from becoming reality after Haydn Lewis and Darian King won their doubles match to give the home team a 2-1 advantage heading into tomorrow’s final day against Uruguay.

Despite a heavy downpour that caused play to be delayed by half an hour from the scheduled 11a.m. start at the National Tennis Center this morning, King and Lewis brightened up the day with 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 straight sets victory over the inexperienced Santiago Maresca and Rodrigo Arus.

Rain delayed play

Speaking after the game King said he thought they executed well and were pleased with every aspect of their game.

“Overall I think we played a great match. We served well, returned well, much better than the ties we played before and I think that is the key to doubles. Once you serve well and you make your opponents play, eventually you end up on top and that is what we did,” he explained.

Meanwhile Lewis said thankfully they were up when the rain came and it was just a matter of playing solidly and consistently.

From left: Santiago Maresca and teammate Rodrigo Arus lost to Darian King and Haydn Lewis

“We were for sure the better players in this situation and we knew once we took care of our side of the court that those kids, even under pressure, they had nothing to lose but it was still a lot of pressure on them. Because they are not used to this situation and it kind of worked in our favour. And with the rain, thankfully we were up already, so we knew it was more pressure on them,” Lewis said, while adding that his back was fine throughout the match.

From left, Haydn Lewis kept a close eye while Darian King played a good return shot. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)

Play commenced at 11:36 a.m. when Barbados won the toss and served. Just when King and Lewis were looking good at 4-2 rain came 24 minutes into the game and dampened things for at least one hour. The hard-working ground staff did well to get the court dry and after that the local boys scored two required points to take a 1-0 lead in the first set.

Uruguay had their moments and took a 1-0 lead in the second set but King and Lewis with their serves complemented by great returns and volleys allowed them to level the game in that set at 1-1 and go ahead 2-1 even though Maresca and Arus came back 2-2 when the Bajan pair made a few errors. King and Lewis made up for their mistakes and never looked back when they buried the opponents with some fantastic shots.

In the third and decisive set Maresca and Arus again took the lead 1-0 when rain came but lasted just for a few minutes. And just like the second set it was levelled at 2-2 before the local boys eventually finished the job.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s reverse singles King said it all boils down to pressure and who handles it better.

“I think it is going to be a tough match and from watching the first match with him against Seanon [Williams] he was playing well. For me I think I played ok on the first day but it comes down to the pressure and who handles it the best and for me I think I handle pressure pretty well. So I am going to go out there and relax, play my game and don’t worry about the outcome. Play point by point and hope I come out with the victory for Barbados.”

King will face Uruguay number one Maresca, and Season Williams takes on Arus at 9:30am.



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