Darian King is still on the mend after injuring his right wrist. But rest assured, Barbados’ tennis ace says he is working tirelessly behind the scenes to return to competitive action on the court.
King who has previously held a career-high singles ranking of 106 in the world, described this year so far as being a tough one since having surgery. Before surgery, the 28-year-old played a mere two matches and hasn’t touched a tennis racquet in nine months.
Despite being anxious to play again, King said he does not intend to risk his recovery process and is adhering to his management team led by brother Christopher King and physio Shannon Lashley.
Currently, King’s wrist is at 80 per cent and if he does get the go-ahead to play sometime soon, maybe as early as next month, then the national number one wants to compete on a few tours. This he said will help him to improve his singles ranking which is at 266 right now and he has no fear of getting back out there.
“It’s been a tough year for me. At the beginning of the year, I only played two matches. Obviously with the pandemic striking the whole world gives me time to recover from my injury that came in January. Right now it’s nine months that I haven’t touched a tennis racquet.
“I don’t want to force the wrist, this injury had me out for a while and to go and injure it again I don’t think that would be a really good idea. Still taking instructions from the physios and stuff, and if they think it’s time, yes, if they are hesitant then definitely not,” King said.
He added: “This stuff is pretty depressing, the first time being injured as I told you. I don’t know how other athletes took it on before but this is downtime for me. So, it is just to keep myself focused, surround myself with some positive people and get back out there as soon as possible.”
To keep focused, King has turned to his first love (football) to help him cope while at the same time maintaining his fitness as he currently trains two days a week with the Barbados senior national football team.
He believes football is one of the ways to work on his fitness especially during this pandemic. So in addition to gym work, King is getting a good work out on the football field.
So far in his Grand Slam career particularly in the United States Open where he failed to make it past round one, King said he believes it is just a matter of breaking down barriers.
The talented right-hander noted that he is always super confident when he plays in the grand slam. King wants to be back at the US Open as early as next year.
“Ranking for me doesn’t say much and on the day is when you go out and play… For me, no fear that I could get back up there. I have the hard work and talent to get back up there, it is just for me to take my time and don’t rush this process of being injured. Just waiting and putting in the work right now and have fun.
“I had that injury for three years now and was not listening to the protocols to rest. I am always that guy that if there is a game here, I always want to perform because I don’t want this talent to go to waste. As you can see, even for football, even if I am injured, an ankle injury, I am that person to play through it.
“I think that the injury caused that (not advancing through to the next rounds), I wasn’t too sure but as you can see now it cost me, meaning I was out for a whole year. So now it is just to settle down. I always had the mentality to think I can get into the Grand Slam, that never shifted from my mind. So, I am just going to prepare now that I got this injury done, the surgery, I think my confidence and stuff would rise back up again,” King explained.