King of the court
THE LOCAL TENNIS CIRCUIT might begin to remind Darian King of his Lodge School days. Both already have a tendency of starting his name with King first.
Barbados’ latest professional player marked his return home with a return to winning ways after dismantling fellow Davis Cup mate Seanon Williams 6-2, 6-4 in Tuesday’s BNB Tennis Championships final at the Ocean View courts.
It was the second successive BNB title and first since turning pro for King, who hasn’t lost a match on home soil in about three years.
Sometimes he doesn’t even look likely of losing a game.
King dropped just three points within the first three games while registering two breaks as part of a swift 3-0 lead, as Williams started the match under a slew of unforced forehand errors.
Williams briefly halted the slide though, coming up with a huge forehand return winner to recover one of those breaks off King’s ensuing service game before holding for a 3-2 deficit.
However, King responded in kind with a couple lusty groundstrokes of his own – none better than the running backhand winner he used to break Williams again for a 5-2 lead.
Two forehand winners and a second serve ace later and King took the first set in just 35 minutes, having rattled off the last three games with nary a resistance.
And the contest looked all but over when King broke Williams to start the ensuing set.
But the two traded breaks of serve evenly for the first four games in an error-filled exchange of poor baseline play before Williams finally held to go ahead 3-2.
King quickly followed suit to hold at love by mixing it up with a couple of serve and volley winners prior to Williams holding serve again for a 4-3 lead.
It proved to be the last advantage he would own.
Williams’ string of successive holds came to end when his crafty opponent began to move him around side to side, finally breaking through when Williams dumped a forehand in the net from deep behind the baseline.
King went on to easily close out the contest, having hit two huge first serves to force successive return errors off either side before Williams missed a passing shot wide on match point.
“It was pretty tough,” said King of his straight sets victory.
“I came out pretty hot but my opponent started to get in the game [and] mentally I broke down. He played pretty well but I was just better on the day.
“I started to feel the ball much better [late in the second set] and I wanted every point,” he added.
King is slated to travel to South America to continue his Futures tour later this month.