The Bajan ace Down Under is just one win away from competing against the top boys in the main draw of the Australian Open.
Barbados’ top tennis player Darian King advanced to the final qualifying round in Melbourne earlier today with a commanding 7-5, 6-0 victory over world no. 115 Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik.
Playing once again on court 12, King was off to a very shaky start early on and was down 4-1 in the opening set with Bublik in total control at this point and seeming to have the first set in the bag.
As the game progressed, King found his rhythm and produced some lovely return shots to break back the serve at 5-3.
The momentum then switched hands in favour of King who didn’t let his opponent back into the contest taking the first set.
The 20-year-old Bublik never regained his grip on the game and King used this opportunity to go on a rampage with a series of forearm and backhand shots in what turned out to be the final set of the match.
Thursday’s win means that King is yet again one step closer to making a second grand slam appearance after his US Open debut last year August in ESPN Prime Time at the famous Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City.
Only Sweden’s Elias Ymer is standing in the way of King becoming the first Barbadian to feature in the Australian Open, which would add to the list of great achievements for the Flow and Jetblue Sponsored player.
His opponent Ymer who is 21-years-old has a career-high ATP singles ranking of 118, achieved on 23 May 2016 and a career-high ATP doubles ranking of 188, achieved on 16 October 2017.
He qualified for the main draw of the 2015 Australian Open after wins against Benoît Paire, Jan Mertl and Hyeon Chung. He lost in the first round against Go Soeda in five sets.
It was only the beginning as he qualified for all four Grand Slams in 2015 after coming through qualifying at the 2015 US Open, losing in the first round to Diego Schwartzman.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY during a post-match interview, King said despite a hard start to the match he was delighted to be advancing to the next stage of the tournament and was confident moving forward.
“I feel good to be one win away from another major like this. With the condition I am in, I am really happy to be where I am right now in the last round of the qualifiers and I’m praying that I am very well for the upcoming match and with two good wins so far I’m feeling good. It was very tough at the beginning but once I got my game back together everything fell into place.”
King openly admitted that his body was not 100 percent but his main focus was to be in top shape for his all-important match in two days time.
“It is kind of similar to Barbados with the heat and the travelling made it very tough for me. I think that played a major part on my body but with the courts and weather nothing has changed. I am trying to boost up my body and have it ready for Saturday.”
The action can be followed on https://ausopen.com.