King hopes to break 300
Barbados’ Best is ready to take on the world’s elite.
The country’s No.1 tennis player Darian King says he is mentally and physically prepared for the next stage of his career after moving from the Futures circuit to play more competitive Challenger events.
King, who is resting at home, expressed the view in an interview with NATIONSPORT after recently achieving a career-high singles ranking of 384.
“Mentally, I am there now and basically, I will do the same thing I’ve been doing all along because the conditions and everything else are the same, the only thing that changes is the players,” said the extremely confident 21-year-old.
“And I’m looking forward to playing these guys on a regular basis because I’ve already done well against some of them in other tournaments.
“Just recently, I had to play a couple of them, and we’re talking top 150, 200 players, in the Bundesliga and I fared well. So I know that I am prepared to do well in these Challengers,” he added.
Having already jumped 236 spots last year, King had his eyes on breaking into the world’s top 300 by season end after starting the year ranked 489.
And the top-ranked pro looked to make good on that promise while winning an ITF F19 Futures Tournament in Joplin, Missouri, last month before reaching the semis of an F20 Futures tournament at Godfrey, Illinois.
But King admitted the challenge of cracking the top 300 was a lot harder than it might appear as the competition for points would be stiff down the stretch of this season.
“It’s going to be really tough because I have points to defend from some Futures tournaments from last year, but it’s not about chasing points more so than constantly improving and playing better players,” explained King.
“I still have things to work on, like my movement, even though it is one of my strengths. But I still would like to perfect it because it helps you to get into position faster and rush the game for your opponents.
“So 300 is still a long way away but I am ready for the challenge, ready to work even harder, and, hopefully, I [will] get a good week in one of the upcoming Challengers that will get me some good points,” he added.
King is set to leave next week to play in a tournament in Canada before moving on to Brazil to compete in four Challengers events.