Barbados will seek to register their first ever win over Guatemala this coming Friday, April 7 in their Group 2 Americas Zone Davis Cup tie.
The Bajan tennis players will surely be high on confidence considering they recently won their first away tie in Group 2 against Paraguay 3-2.
The team led by non-playing captain Damien Applewhaite and deputy captain, Christopher King, comprises King’s younger brother and Barbados’s number one star player Darian King, Haydn Lewis, Seanon Williams and Adam Hornby who were all overseas either training or competing in preparation for this particular tie.
Applewhaite said during his remarks at the Barbados Lawn Tennis Association Monday morning that the team had its first practice session on home soil and that over the last six weeks, the team has been preparing steadily and he was therefore quite pleased with their progress thus far.
“This is the best preparation that we have had leading up to a tie. We are coming off a good win in Paraguay and that was the first away win in Group two ever, so the team will use that going into this tie against a very competitive Guatemalan team who are also coming off a high after beating a team like Mexico. So we are expecting a tough fight over the weekend,” he said.
The last time Barbados played Guatemala was in Group three and that was the year they actually got promoted to group two. Applewhaite said having not beaten Guatemala in the past, they were now a different team with quality players and therefore looked forward to a very competitive tie this weekend.
King who has moved to a career best 114 on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World tour rankings was present at the press conference and said he was high on confidence having returned from ATP tours in Memphis, Miami and Indian Wells.
“I had a great two months playing in my first Masters event and coming up with some big victories. That is individual but for Barbados I put much more effort and prepare very much for it and obviously against Guatemala and against these guys, I am obviously ready to come out and try my best out there and hopefully come out with the next victory,” King said.
Barbados Lawn Tennis Association vice president Sandra Osborne took time during the conference to thank former Davis Cup captain Kevin Yarde for his exceptional contribution to the team having taken them from Group Four to Group One of Davis Cup.
“I am sure many of you are wondering why the switch and the switch was simply to expose new people to the job. Kevin has done a wonderful job for us and has taken the Barbados Davis Cup team from group four to group one and we continue to use him. I think he was just the world juniors captain in El Salvador, so he is still very much working with us and I would like to express my personal and the association’s appreciation for his sterling work as he gives the younger generation an opportunity to shine,” Osborne said.