Despite going down to the Dominican Republic in a heartbreaking loss last weekend, Barbados’ Davis Cup team can still hold their heads high.
Darian King, Haydn Lewis and Seanon Williams were just one victory away from creating another huge upset in the competition, heading into Sunday’s final matches with a 2-1 lead.
However, it was not to be, as King went down in straight sets 4-6, 4-6, 2-6 to Victor Estrella, while Lewis –– who was hampered by a back injury –– was defeated by Jose Hernandez 7-5, 1-6, 2-6, 2-6.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the tie though, was King’s dominant showing against the higher ranked Hernandez on Friday’s opening day, along with King and Lewis’ doubles win over Estrella and Hernandez the following day.
King, who came into the tournament with a ranking of 291, has climbed 20 places to a career best 271, after his 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 straight sets demolition of Hernandez, who had a ranking of 268 coming in to the competition.
Their straight set doubles win was also an impressive one, especially considering that Estrella is ranked 58th in the world.
So while they might not have come away victorious in the end, the island’s best tennis players definitely gave the appreciative crowd which turned out on all three days, something to shout about.
At just 22 years old, King continues to show his class and skill, and why many expect him to become just the second Barbadian to break into the Top 100.
He was in prime form against Hernandez throughout the 75 minute contest, as the Dominican struggled to deal with the windy conditions.
And even though he went down to Estrella –– who was once ranked among the world’s 50 best players –– in straight sets, King had his moments.
In fact, had he taken advantage of the five opportunities to break his opponent in that opening set, it could have been an entirely different result.
Even after the match, Estrella himself said King had great potential and he hoped Barbados would continue to support him.
“Darian is growing up every day and he is playing very, very well. He is playing very good tennis and hopefully he can get the support of the country to keep moving out of the country to play some tournaments.
“He has very good patience for tennis and I hope to see him in better tournaments and with a better ranking,” the 34 year-old told the media shortly after his victory.
Unfortunately, Lewis was hampered by a sore back throughout the tie.
He played solidly in the doubles match, with King afterwards actually admitting that Lewis pulled him along.
He fought valiantly in his deciding match against Hernandez, sending the crowd into a frenzy when he won the first set 7-5.
But the subsequent back injury affected his services and mobility, allowing Hernandez to complete a come from behind victory.
Afterwards, the 29 year-old south paw said he planned to resume playing on Tour and had no intentions to retire any time soon.
That in itself was a definite win for Barbados, who while coming up just short, proved that they were capable of hanging with the big boys.