King lord and master of Top 8
THE MAN they call King definitely lords over local tennis.
Overseas-based pro Darian King used his authoritative forehand and a near-flawless second-set effort to dismiss Ryan Moseley 6-2, 6-1 last night for his second title in three days.
The triumph in the final of the Courtesy Garage Top 8 at the Ocean View Courts capped a surreal weekend for the world-ranked 20-year-old following Friday’s similarly imperious straight-sets defeat of Moseley’s younger brother Russell.
And this was before he also made light work of fellow Davis Cup player Seanon Williams in an early morning semi-final that more resembled a Sunday walk in the park than a much-awaited final four clash.
King then beat his third top three player in as many days in a stunning second-set performance that saw him rattle off 16 points in succession on the way to a 5-0 lead.
The lone blemish in that set came on a double fault. King merely followed that up with a second serve ace down the tee and another of his typical inside-out forehand passing shots.
At one stage he hit a pair of aces to close out one game before immediately starting another with forehand and backhand return winners against an unmoved Moseley.
The only groundstrokes that didn’t seem to be passing shots were the ones King used to set them up, like an acute angle cross-court forehand he quickly turned into an inside-out winner in the other direction.
“I’ve played Ryan a lot over the years and I know he’s going to go for his shots so I tried not to let him dictate the points,” said King of the win.
It wasn’t as if Moseley wasn’t producing incredible winners of his own, as the former Davis Cup player hit two successive lusty forehands off his own serve to barely avoid a second set bagel.
But they simply paled in comparison, and frequency, to those hit by King, which seemingly came whistling from every part of the court.
It was a far cry from the early exchanges of the first set, where Moseley used his big forehand to dictate the points while trading holds for the match’s first five games.
However, the top seed got hold
of a loose second serve with a ripping backhand return down the line to break for a 4-2 lead, before Moseley dropped his next service game on a double fault to hand King the first set 6-2.
King started the second set with a double fault of his own, though, and Moseley got a slight opening after the pro player went down 15-30 in that service game.
But that door was quickly slammed shut with successive aces that started a run of 16 straight points won by King.
“He’s just on a totally different level,” Moseley said moments after the match. “It’s an honour to be on the court with him right now, and I figure playing someone of his class I can only go after my shots and make it look as good as possible.”
King is set to leave the country today to return to his Miami training base before competing in a tour event.