Kaipo Marshall is the undisputed king of junior tennis in Barbados. The teenager slammed his way to a clean sweep at the 2018 SOL Junior Nationals concluded today at the National Tennis Center in Wildey, St Michael.
But the 16-year-old doesn’t intend to stop there because he now has his eyes set on defending his Sol Men’s Open title later this month after Barbados’ all-important Americas Zone Group l Second Round Davis Cup play-off against Ecuador starting next week Friday, September 14th and 15th at the National Tennis Center.
Even though not yet confirmed there is a possibility that Barbados will be at full strength for this tie with the return of ace player Darian King who took time to focus on his professional career and did not play when Barbados visited the Dominican Republic in April.
This morning the six-footer Marshall smashed an impressive 6-2, 6-4 best of three victory over Steven Slocombe in the Under-18 Boys championship match and in so doing completed the double having won the Under-16 Boys final yesterday 6-0, 6-3 over another one of his St Michael School teammates, Kyle Griffith.
Coached by Paul Stewart, Marshall teamed up with doubles teammate Slocombe and the two were unstoppable claiming the Under-16 doubles title 6-2, 6-3 against Griffith and Kurt Seifert. Those two then went on to comfortably outplay Liam Gill and Kai McKenzie 6-1, 6-0 in the Under-18 doubles match.
Marshall who gained eight grade ones and a two at the Caribbean Entrance Examination told Barbados TODAY the year had been a good one so far having won juniors and retained his place on the Davis Cup team. And the boy wonder doesn’t intend to let anything or anyone sidetrack him from achieving his goal of possibly becoming one of the next best tennis talents on the island.
“Junior nationals was a nice warm-up for senior nationals and I am confident of doing well. But I really hope more people sign up to make the competition a lot more interesting. I am mentally prepared for it, I have been working hard with my coach Mr. Stewart and my mom she is very helpful in terms of getting me in shape and then my coach deals with the technical aspects of my game and so far, I am happy with the progress I’ve made,” Marshall said.
Since making the Davis Cup team a couple months ago, Marshall had his real taste of competitive international tennis when he played both the singles and doubles in the Dominican Republic earlier this year in April. But it is unlikely he will get a chance to swing his racquet on home soil considering that King and Lewis are the two obvious choices to lead Barbados’ hopes. And Marshall doesn’t mind being patient which is one aspect of his game he said that has carried him far in his young budding career.
The six-member Davis Cup team that should include King along with Lewis, Marshall, Matthew Foster- Estwick, Xavier Lawrence and non-playing captain Damien Applewhaite is expected to be finalised by next week before the start of competition.