Island to stage Davis Cup tie
Barbados is one step closer to hosting that ever elusive ATP event.
Less than five months after gaining promotion to Group II, the country will be staging its first ever Davis Cup event at this level after being drawn to host Paraguay in their opening-round tie at the National Tennis Centre on February 10.
Barbados Invitational Tennis Exhibition (BITE) director Kodi Lewis disclosed the date while revealing that a doubles game with his brother Haydn and Darian King versus John Isner and Gael Monfils had been added to the Tennis Pon De Rock slate.
“Hosting things like the Davis Cup can only help us in what we want to do, and with the guys playing so well, it’s a huge step for us,” said Lewis of their progress to staging an ATP tour tournament.
“So the likelihood is good that we can host such an event, because having these type of players coming to Barbados and liking the country is critical, as the players’ union has to approve.
“Then, with Darian and Haydn playing so well, it further advances our cause.”
It’s been a whirlwind year for the world-ranked Bajan duo, who just missed out on a first ever piece of Pan American tennis silverware when they lost their semi-final and bronze medal games in two separate three-set heartbreakers.
This was after King and Lewis proved pivotal in Barbados’ climb to Group II by leading the Davis Cup side out of Group III this year.
And now the two will get the perfect preparation for the historic clash via a one-set exhibition against the 15th-ranked Monfils and world No. 18 Isner on December 11.
That exhibition festival is also expected to include seven-time Grand Slam champ Venus Williams and world No. 3 Victoria Azarenka in mixed doubles and singles matches over two days.
Lewis added that a representative from their sponsor Nike will also take in the festival, while sports management group IMG had offered to partner in staging Tennis Pon De Rock.
BITE organisers are scheduled to hold a Press conference today to reveal further details of the December exhibition series.