Tomorrow is a big day for Barbados’ tennis and though many eyes will be fixed on ace player Darian King, there is another player eager to show Barbadians he has what it takes to represent the Barbados flag on a major stage.
Matthew Foster-Estwick is anxious to deliver his maiden serve on home soil when the Davis Cup Americas Group ll third round tie against Venezuela serves off tomorrow at the National Tennis Center in Wildey.
Manager of operations at the Barbados Olympic Association, Glyne Clarke, under the supervision of Colombian referee Miguel Ternera, had the honour of pulling just one name that happened to be Ricardo Rodriguez, during the official draw attended by both teams today.
That draw by Clarke determined how the remainder of the tie would play over the next three days, culminating on Sunday.
Foster-Estwick, playing number two to teammate and Barbados’ best in King, will come up against Venezuela’s number one Rodriguez who is ranked 782 in the opening contest.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY, the 20-year-old based at Hampton University got right on the ball, admitting he was feeling a little nervous being first up on court for his country but was ready to give his all with his attacking style of play.
“I am definitely grateful for the opportunity, a bit nervous obviously but I am looking forward to the experience. It has always been one of my goals to play for Barbados and being able to play at home, I am definitely going to give a good performance and hopefully come out with a win,” Foster- Estwick said.
It is mandatory that on the opening day of Davis Cup competition for the number one player from each country to play the number two from the opposing team and therefore King will feature tomorrow afternoon against Jordi Munoz, seeded number two for Venezuela.
For the doubles match on Saturday, the dynamic pair of King and Haydn Lewis will battle Munoz and Luis Martinez. The reverse singles on the third and final day will feature a showdown between the number one players King and Rodriguez while Foster-Estwick and Munoz will clash for the decider.
Non-playing captain, Damien Applewhaite, said they were hoping for King, ranked 156 among the International Tennis Professionals, to play the opening match in order to take some pressure off Foster-Estwick.
However, he has faith that the right-handed Foster-Estwick has what it takes to deliver a good performance in his very first Davis Cup outing at home.
“This is Matthew’s first match at home and it is a lot of nerves coming first up on the day, so playing second would have been more comfortable. But he is showing a lot of maturity and I am sure he can handle the big stage.
“We always access the human resources that we have and we try to play to our strengths. We know our strength is doubles and that is why we held back Haydn [Lewis] for that. At the same time, viewing Matthew’s performance in practice during the week he has shown the tools necessary to go out there and give a good performance,” Applewhaite said.
Lewis and Adam Hornby would watch from the sideline but would be called upon in the event of King or Foster-Estwick being injured.
Play begins tomorrow around 10 a.m. at the Tennis Center.