by Anmar Goodridge-Boyce
Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be; the King’s Australian dream is over.
After easily making it into the third and final round of qualifying matches in the Australian Open, Barbados’ top tennis player Darian King failed to advance to the main draw, which serves off on Monday.
Playing on court no.15 in an encounter, which was scheduled to start around 1a.m. Barbados time, but was delayed by 14 hours, Sweden’s Elias Ymer made light work of the Bajan ace, dismissing him in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
It marked the end of yet another impressive run by 25-year-old King who had his eyes set on appearing in his second grand slam tournament in five months after his historic debut in the US Open on ESPN Prime Time in New York City last August.
The Barbadian was considered the favourite to win, having beaten his opponent in the Delray Beach Open last year.
It all started for King on Tuesday when he defeated homeboy Marc Polmans 6-2, 7-6 to set up a date against Alexander Bublik which he won 7-5, 6-0, leaving Ymer as the final opponent standing in his way for the main draw.
Ymer, 21, will now enter the first round of the Australian Open for the second time since 2015 after taking down the Frenchman Kenny de Schepper 6-2, 7-6; American D. Novikov 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 and King
Just as in his previous match, King started a little shaky, but after slipping on the court and slightly injuring his left hamstring, Ymer raced the score to 3-1, while taking advantage of a number of unforced errors by the Bajan.
King came back to level at 3-3.
However, Ymer produced two forehand winners and then a brilliant ace to secure the opening set of the match.
With the score moving to 5-4 in his favour, Ymer took the final game in style as he led 15-0, 30-0 and 40-0, before allowing King to take a point and then forcing him into forehand error.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY shortly after the game, King said:
“I’m very disappointed, especially coming all the way from Barbados straight to Australia and being sick for the past two weeks, but I thank God for getting me this far and giving me the opportunity to try to make it. Unluckily, I went down, but I still give thanks. To me, I played well under my conditions. I stuck to my game plan, but I lost.”
The 25-year-old gave credit to his opponent while admitting that “the plan that I tried to execute didn’t work.
“When I played him last time I went to his forehand, but today he just played very well. At 2-1, 30-30, when I got broke and he slipped, he just ripped two forehands past me,” he said.