STRATEGY: Barbados’ No. 1 player Darian King (left) and captain Damien Applewhaite in discussion during a practice session at the National Tennis Centre yesterday. (Pictures by Kenmore Bynoe.)
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It will be tough to unearth new stars unless the National Sports Council (NSC) embarks on a vibrant tennis programme in the primary schools, says Davis Cup team captain Damien Applewhaite.
He believes Barbados has to go back to the mechanism that resulted in the discovery of wonder boy Darian King for the resurgence in the sport to continue.
Applewhaite says a worrying gulf separated King and Haydn Lewis from the rest of the pack.
“It is all about bridging gaps. Right now, we have Darian and Haydn playing at a very high level and then you have some juniors trying their best to make it; maybe their level and plateau is the college/level.
“As a tennis nation, we were always successful in producing scholarship winners and people going on to compete on the inter-collegiate scene in the United States. It is very rare that we get Darians that can cross that gap and compete professionally.
“Now we have two players that are doing that, we need to find a way to get more players to bridge the gap,” he said. (MK)
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