Yarde: Bajans victims of high altitudeKevin Yarde (FP)
By Justin Marville | Sat, April 14, 2012 - 12:03 AM
PLAYING ON A HIGH didn’t quite work out for Barbados tennis this time.
Less than one week after the team crashed out of the Davis Cup, captain Kevin Yarde tabbed inability to cope with the high altitudes of Mexico as the sole reason behind the demoralizing 5-0 drubbing in the Group II semi-final tie.
“It’s not that the guys didn’t play well,” said Yarde, “but with the altitude, they just couldn’t control the ball and hit the shots they’re accustomed to hitting – especially in terms of Haydn [Lewis’] game, which relies on big serves and big forehands. It was hard for him to be consistent in either facet under those conditions.
“They tried their best and it didn’t work out, but I truly believe if they were playing at sea level it would have been a totally different tie.”
The 60th ranked Bajans – just recently promoted to Group II – were always going to be up against it, having to face a host team rated 14 spots above them.
And playing some 7 940 feet above sea level didn’t help either, as Mexico wrapped up the tie in just two days when Haydn Lewis and Darian King both lost their opening singles matches before pairing up to lose the ensuing doubles match.
The hosts did not even drop a set in the process, with neither national champ Seanon Williams nor Barbados No. 3 Anthony Marshall faring better than their two counterparts on the red clay.
This defeat comes just two months after Barbados romped to an impressive opening round victory over Paraguay at home, where King and Lewis engineered three successive straight-set wins to secure the tie in two days.
But those victories came on the much faster hard courts – and the only thing high about the Wildey Tennis Centre was the swirling wind.
“The bounce [on the Mexican courts] was a bit troublesome,” disclosed Yarde, “but I have to admit those courts weren’t like typical clay courts because they played a bit fast.
“Plus, our players are getting accustomed to playing on the slower clay, so I can’t exactly say that was a big issue for us.
“I must say though, I really hope we could have a few more ties at home next year, but we will have to see how the draw works out,” Yarde joked.
Leaning heavily on the ATP-ranked duo of Lewis and King, Barbados gained promotion from Group III last June before successfully hosting their first ever Group II tie two months ago.
The historic win against Paraguay ensured the ultramarine and gold will remain in that group for at least another year.
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