Darian F19 Futures king
Darian King went one step further than he did last year, winning the ITF F19 Futures Tennis Tournament in Joplin, Missouri, last Sunday afternoon.
King, who is ranked 427th in the world, defeated American Alexander Sarkissian (966) 6-4, 7-6 (3) in the final which was played indoors at the Millennium Tennis And Fitness Centre after rain threatened earlier in the day.
The 21-year-old did not drop a set as he marched to the final for the second straight year. Last year, he was beaten 6-3, 6-3 by Frenchman Sebastien Boltz.
After King and his American partner Nick Chappell lost in the doubles semis, he turned his attention to the singles title.
Seeded No. 1, he defeated Leon Frost, of Australia, 7-5, 6-0 and American Jared Hiltzik 6-2, 7-5.
Sahak Bazrganian, of the United States, was the next to fall 6-2, 6-3 and then No. 6 Alex Blumenberg, of Brazil, went down 6-3, 6-3 in the semi-finals. Sarkissian took the easy route to the final when Mexico’s Daniel Garza retired 6-2, 2-1.
“It was tough,” King said in the post-match interview on radiotennis.com which provided live commentary.
“Playing Alexander, who came up with some big wins and the conditions changed, I just fought my way through and got the victory.”
King fell during the match and tweaked the right ankle which was taped. He hurt the left knee, but said the adrenaline flowed and he ignored it.
It was all King in the first set, getting the break in the very first game. They traded games all the way to 5-4 and King served to close out the set, with some difficulty.
The second set started much the same as the first, but it was a marathon game before King got the break.
He was up 40-15 but couldn’t get the win. The advantage swung back and forth as Sarkissian served up three double faults before taking the advantage on a backhand volley.
King’s return took it to deuce and he got the advantage and the break when Sarkissian hit the tape, followed by a long forehand down the line.
But the momentum of the game changed when King went from 2-0 to trailing 2-5 as his game fell apart and the big-hitting Sarkissian improved.
The commentator pointed out King hadn’t dropped a set, or been under pressure all week and this match would show what kind of player he really was.
First, a hold, then a break, another hold and King was back in it at 5-5. Sarkissian held at love and King won at 15 to force the tiebreaker.
Sarkissian took the first point, King won the next two. Sarkissian took the 3-2 lead and then gave it up. He wouldn’t win another point.
Sarkissian hit the tape on King’s serve. He double faulted on his serve and hit a sliced backhand into the net. King closed it out with a massive serve that the American couldn’t handle. (SAT)