It will take a lot of competitive match practice and funding if Barbados are to be successful in the January 2015 Americas Group I Davis Cup tournament, says the island’s non-playing captain Kevin Yarde.
The captain of the Barbados team which defeated Mexico 3-2 yesterday in the final of the Americas Davis Cup Group II final played at the National Tennis Centre, told Barbados TODAY words could not express how great an achievement it was for the team which strolled into Group I for the first time in the country’s 24-year history in the competition.
“It is a great achievement for us and it is a huge step for our tennis. It will be tougher [in group one] but we will see how it goes. We will have to put in some more work because the competition will be a lot tougher and we need our players to play more high level tournaments because we have the talent,” Yarde said.
He added: “That is the difference between Haydn, Darian and the rest. With Haydn, he has not been playing much tournament but with Darian now he has been playing in tournaments almost every week and you can definitely see the difference there.”
Barbados’ dream of entering Group I became reality when local number one player on the team Darian King won the first singles match yesterday by defeating Tigre Hank 6-2, 6-2 and 7-5 to set the platform for local hero Haydn Lewis who came from behind 2-6 against Mexican teenager Lucas Gomez to command the second and third set 6-2 and 7-5. It was a memorable performance in what was a must-win match for both teams.
Yarde said the ultimate goal for the team now was to advance to the world group stage in 2016 but he did admit it would be a tough task if Barbados were to reach the Group I final in 2015 because they would have their hands full when they played the likes of the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay who are also competing in the same group as Barbados.
“Obviously we have to try and keep going forward to see how far we can go. It is going to take some hard work and some funding for us to play tennis at that level. Also if we can get some funding from corporate Barbados that would be a great boost for our team,” he said.
Looking ahead Yarde said that the team, which consisted of King, Lewis, Russell Moseley and Seanon Williams, was finally now a more complete team compared to the past when there was only one dominant player on the squad.
“Finally we have a more complete team because for a number of years we used to have one very strong player which was above the rest and it was really difficult for us. But we kept plugging away and we got through to group four, then group three and when we got into group three we had Darian which was a great addition to the team and that really made us a little more complete because Darian and Haydn complement each other well in doubles. And we know Darian is a great singles player and Haydn as well. The only thing is Haydn needs to play more tournaments right now,” Yarde said.
Despite Lewis’ lack of match practice, Yarde praised the 28-year-old for a tremendous performance after losing his opening match on Friday to bounce back yesterday and played as brilliantly as he did.
“We are very happy for Haydn because I know he was a little deflated after losing the singles match on Friday and then the doubles lost on Saturday. I think it was a tremendous job he did on Sunday to play the way he did to take us home.”