Darian King expectedly won his opening match and while Barbados had hoped to take a 2-0 lead going into the second and final day of competition tomorrow in the Davis Cup World Group ll playoff, it just wasn’t meant to be.
It means everything now rests on the line going into the second and final day of competition tomorrow Saturday at the National Tennis Centre in Wildey.
With the score locked at 1-1 in the three-best-of-five tie, the winner of tomorrow’s crucial first match, the doubles, will hold a significant advantage with only the reverse singles remaining.
There was never any doubt King would get the job done, considering his track record of delivering for his country.
Today was no different as he brushed aside Oceania’s number two seed, teenager Clement Mainguy in straight sets, 6-4 and 6-0.
However, in the second singles match Barbados’ number two seed Kaipo Marshall, despite putting up a valiant effort lost 6-2, 6-0 to Oceania’s top ranked player Colin Sinclair.
In his first match in Barbados in some time, the 30-year-old King dominated Mainguy, who won the opening game in the first set.
But battling unusually high winds, King managed to secure the break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead.
So dominant was King that he won five of 12 breakpoints during the match, compared to Mainguy who managed just one of three.
In addition, King’s first and second serves were spot on, accounting for a large percentage of his points in the match against his young and inexperienced opponent.
“There were a few errors from both of us but with me being the most experienced player out there, I think I handled it a little better in terms of pressure,” King said during his post-match interview.
The second match between Marshall and Sinclair in the second singles was also lopsided with Barbados’ number two seed going down in straight sets.
At some points though, Marshall used his serves to goof effect and was able to hold his own at crucial points of the first set, especially when he trailed 5-2 and fought tremendously hard to stall Sinclair from taking the opening set with ease.
Marshall did his best, but Sinclair, who also served superbly, was able to finish off a hard-fought first set and eventually the match.
While Marshall showed glimpses of his enormous potential, he made way too many unforced efforts which ultimately led to his demise.
In the opening doubles match tomorrow, King will team up with Matthew Foster-Estwick to face Oceania’s Sinclair and Brett Baudinet.
In a clash of the top seeds, King would have to take on King with Marshall and Mainguy facing off in a decisive fifth match if necessary.