Bajan tennis ace overworked

Barbados’ tennis player, Darian King.
Photo by George Alleyne

A superhuman attempt by Barbados’ highest ranked tennis player, Darian King, proved to be far from enough to stop his country from falling to defeat to Brazil in a Davis Cup 2019 fixture.

Playing in Criciuma, Brazil over the weekend for a chance at qualification into another round for the 2020 finals of this world championship of tennis, King took on the first match-up and beat 2019 Pan Am Games gold medallist, Joao De Menezes, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 37 minutes.

But that was all for which the Barbados two-man team had to cheer as Barbadian Haydn Lewis lost to Thiago Monteiro 6-2, 6-2.

Then King joined countryman, Lewis, for the doubles match-up and they went down to Brazilians, Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares, 6-7, 5-7.

The Bajans reportedly fought valiantly but this one-sided defeat was perhaps the first sign of King taking on too much in the name of country, as the man he had beaten the day before was rested while he had to face fresh Brazilian legs.

It also pointed to a need for at least two other Barbadians in the team.

“Unlike the Barbadians, who had to rely on their singles players from Friday, in Saturday’s doubles rubber, Brazil were able to field the experienced duo of Melo and Soares,” the Davis Cup website reported.

Following the doubles defeat in just under an hour, King had only a half-hour break before having to take to the court again, this time facing Thiago Monteiro — who the Brazilians had rested from the doubles – in another singles encounter.

Predictably, the overworked Bajan who is ranked 182 in the world, lost in straight sets 4-6, 6-7 to Monteiro, ranked 101.

Brazil’s 3-1 defeat of Barbados booked it a spot among 11 nations for another set of qualifiers next year, a round of the competition which places the South Americans within one more victory away from a place at the 2020 Madrid Finals.

There were 133 teams entered at the beginning of this year for the David Cup, and by a process of groupings and eliminations four teams will qualify for the 2020 semi-finals.

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