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Barbados wins Davis Cup tie
By Petra Gooding
AGAINST the odds, the Barbados Men’s Davis Cup team defeated number one seed, Chile, 3-2 in their Davis Cup Americas Zone Group II tie yesterday, at the National Tennis Centre.
The bajan lads had come into yesterday’s final day of play leading 2-1, thanks to wins from the doubles team of Darian King and Haydn Lewis, while King had won his singles match against Junior French Open Champion Christian Garin.
King continued his winning ways yesterday, dispatching Gonzalo Lama in straight sets 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. The Chilean seemed so incensed at being outmatched by a lesser ranked player that he was warned twice by the umpire about his behaviour.
After the match, King told reporters this was a big win for Barbados, and he thanked the many spectators for turning out to support the team, as well as the coaches for making the win possible.
“We couldn’t have done this without them. This is one of my biggest victories, especially as this is Davis Cup, playing for your country. I rank this at the top of the list, because playing for your country, you are leaving it all on the court, and to come out with a win is fantastic,” said King.
Lama raced to a 0-2 lead in the first set, as King started off a bit lethargically. However, King began to make effective use of the drop shot ,and soon levelled the scores at 2-2 before going on to win 6-2.
After King won the second set 6-4, Lama destroyed his racquet by hitting it onto the court, and was cited by the chair umpire for a racquet violation. He grew even more frustrated as the game wore on, as he had difficulty dealing with the windy conditions in Wildey.
With King leading 5-3 in the third set, Lama’s temper again got the better of him, and he accidentally hit one of the net umpires on the side of the head. While he didn’t mean to hit the lady, he meant to hit the ball nonetheless.
The Chilean was given a point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, and King easily added the final two points needed to win the set 6-3, and the match 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.
The fifth match was a mere formality, with Russell Moseley losing 1-6, 2-6 to Chile’s Jorge Aguilar.
Barbados will now face El Salvador in the second round in April this year, after the latter defeated Paraguay 3-2. That tie is slated for April 4-6 at the National Tennis Centre.
Chile must now play Paraguay to avoid being relegated to Group III.
Barbados is the only Caribbean country to compete in the Group II with the others competing in Group III.