Barbados’ six-member Radisson Davis Cup team is confidently ready to host Ecuador in the 2018 Americas Zone Group l relegation tie scheduled to commence this Friday at the National Tennis Center.
The winner will stay up in Group l while the loser will be demoted to Group Two when the countries meet on Friday for two singles matches followed by the reverse singles and doubles the following day.
National non-playing captain Damien Applewhaite told local media that the final playing order for the Barbados team would be decided by tomorrow. But he said the squad was made up of number one and two seeds Darian King and Haydn Lewis along with Xavier Lawrence, Matthew Foster-Estwick and Kaipo Marshall.
Applewhaite said aside from expecting a competitive tie against Ecuador, he was also happy to have King back in the set-up after the local ace player took some time away from national duties to focus on his professional career having qualified earlier this year for the Australian Open and then the just concluded US Open.
“We are happy to have him back. We were always confident that he was going to play the September tie [US Open] and the January tie [Australian Open] because they are like vacuums at the beginning of the ATP [Association of Tennis Professionals] calendar. The April tie is always dodgy because of personal commitments. So, we were always confident that he is going to play this tie because he realizes the importance of this tie to stay in group one.
“I am expecting a very competitive tie. The last time we played them at home we lost 3-2 and we picked up an unfortunate injury during that tie. But we are confident that we will come with our best team again. We are quite familiar with the team. Darian has played against their team members often and I think he only recorded one loss against their number one. Three out of the four Ecuadorian members are left-handed, so that is a different spin on things. But we also have Haydn who is also left-handed to prepare Darian for that matchup. So we should be quite comfortable for this tie, “ Applewhaite, said while expressing his concerns about the lack of wind which he described as the sixth man of the team on the court but assured the guys were ready.
Applewhaite also noted that there was no cause for concern in relation to injuries. He said: “The guys look in pretty good shape but could be in better shape. Darian would have lost quite early in the US Open…Haydn was playing in Florida and I notice he was complaining about the weather and Barbados is actually drier than Florida, so that would have interrupted his training schedule and he maybe is not as fit as he might have been before. But he is quite fit to perform in this tie. And the others would have been here. Xavier would have been with me, so he is ready to go and Matthew was at his school preparing for the tour.”