Team up for it
D-DAY is less than two days away.
For Haydn Lewis, Darian King, Anthony Marshall and Seanon Williams, it couldn’t possibly come any sooner.
Barbados’ Davis Cup team are eagerly anticipating their Group II match against Paraguay which is slated to come off on Friday at the National Tennis Centre.
When MIDWEEK SPORT visited the Wildey facility yesterday, both squads were hard at work, getting in their final preparations for their crucial clash which is expected to be extremely competitive.
Barbados’ non-playing captain for the past seven years, Kevin Yarde, is expecting a very tough match, but he insists the players are very much up to the task.
Yarde said that judging from the recent training sessions, he had seen improvement in their play and he expected them to put up a very good showing against their opponents.
“Everybody is looking very good. They are looking very sharp and raring to go.
“I think that we have a very good chance of making it to the next round, once we do all the things that we have been practising and once we play the tennis that we are capable of playing,” he maintained.
“Paraguay will be very tough opponents, because their top players and our top players are ranked quite closely to each other. Their top player is ranked 701 on the ATP ranking and our No. 1 (Darian) is ranked 726, and Hadyn’s ranking of 850 isn’t very far from their No. 2 either.”
Yarde revealed that King had recently returned from a training stint in Florida with top Barbadian coach Martin Blackman, where he had been doing some physical work, fitness training and playing some practice matches.
He said that team morale was very high, especially with Lewis having also recently returned from the Cayman Islands in winner’s row.
Yarde pointed to the first singles match on Friday as “a very crucial match, and possibly the deciding factor”.
“I am very confident in our doubles team of Darian and Haydn, and I know that they will do well.
“What I think will be very important, though, is how we perform in our singles matches, and that very first singles match will be extremely crucial in deciding who the winner will be,” he suggested.
Paraguayan coachVictor Pecci said that he also expected a very tough match, especially against a Barbadian side that will be playing in front of their home crowd.
“We expect some very tough competition because the Barbados players have been playing well, and of course because they are playing at home.
The conditions here are very good. The courts are nice . . . ,” he said.