Barbados fight but lose to Colombians

A courageous second-set performance by Darian King and Haydn Lewis was not enough to prevent Colombia’s world-class doubles players Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian-Cabal from winning 6-2, 7-6 at the National Tennis Center in their Davis Cup Tie.

Heading into the match-up, King and veteran Davis Cup doubles partner Lewis were well aware they needed to dig deep in order to get past the class of Farah and Sebastian-Cabal, fresh off the Australia Grand Slam final.

But as expected the Colombians won the best of three sets, third game rubber and took a 3-0 lead in the Americas Group l tie.

Speaking after the match that lasted a duration of one hour and 35 minutes, King pointed out it was not the opening start he and Lewis were hoping for but they were able to coordinate better in the second set and put pressure on the Colombians.

“It was just not a good enough start, but in the second set we pulled ourselves together, started coordinating more and moving together and executed our game plan. Obviously we played some guys that play together a lot and as you see they got to the final of the Open in Australian.

“It came down to the ending and got a bit mentally frustrating with some problems that happened before and carried on straight into the second set. It was not the result we were looking for,” King said.

Darian King (left) and teammate Haydn Lewis (right) watch as Robert Farah executes an excellent back arm play. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay).

Meanwhile, Lewis explained that they did not change their approach much in the second set. In fact he said they were able to improve on areas in which they fell down in during the first set.

“We were able to understand them a bit more and figure out their plays and what they do. They like to be on top of the net a lot, so we got ourselves into the game and read them a lot better and we started to play our game better,” he said.

Barbados were able to score the third and fifth points of the opening set but Sebastian-Cabal ranked (23) and Farrah (27) dominated proceedings.

The two men communicated well and were able to dominate plays in both the back court and front court which they favoured a lot, especially Farah stroking those timely forehand shots between King and Lewis who were unmoved most of the time.

Juan Sebastian-Cabal (left) makes a return shot while teammate Robert Farah keeps a close watch.

With nothing to lose in this second and decisive set, the local star players went all out against the visitors who were forced into a tie-break situation at 6-6.

King and Lewis came from behind to lock the scores 3-3, Colombia went ahead yet again 4-3 but King with the serve and Lewis producing a great attacking shot in the front court were able to once again equalize 4-4. The next three points went to Colombia winning 7-4.

Prior to the tie-breaker Barbados were down 0-40 in the second set when the chair umpire disallowed the score by King and Lewis which would have made it 15-40. Team Barbados were not happy about that particular call and non-playing captain Damien Applewhaite rightfully protested while King vented his frustrations as well but the decision remained.

Play resumed as local supporters got behind the two to press on which they did and King and Lewis held their own, won that game for break-point, as Barbados equalized 5-5, then 6-6 but were unable to score past Farah and Sebastian-Cabal in the tie-break which would have forced the third and decisive set.

Just one match was played in the reverse singles because the fifth and final game was cancelled. In the fourth rubber Xavier Lawrence put on an excellent show in front his home crowd despite losing 6-3 and 6-0 against Cristian Rodriguez, ranked 370 in the world.

(morissalindsay@barbadostoday.bb)

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