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Visa snag hurts King

Justin Marville

Visa snag hurts King

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DARIAN KING’s road to 300 has suffered a major setback.
Barbados’ top-ranked tennis pro has dropped down in the world rankings after not being able to travel to Brazil this week for a couple of Challenger tournaments following a visa snag.
King disclosed the unfortunate turn of events after returning home this week when he was sent back from an airport in South America while en route to Brazil.
“I basically had two rough weeks while playing upper-level tournaments in Ecuador and Colombia, so I was ready to go back to some tournaments in Brazil and basically got stuck up in the airport with problems with the visa,” explained King, while watching Monday’s National Championships final.
“I’m kind of depressed because around this same time last year I had won a couple of tournaments and now I can’t defend them, so I’m back home in Barbados a little down but still anxious to get back out there.
“But I’m going to train with my brother all this week and if they give me [the] heads up that I can play a tournament in Mexico then I will go down and take that chance.”
Ranked as high as 384 in the world last month, the 21-year-old King has dropped back to 470 after failing to defend at least 40 points that he would’ve won from those two tournaments in Brazil last year.
It serves as a serious setback to King’s main goal of cracking the sport’s top 300 by year end, which had looked likely following some initial successes on tour earlier this year.
“This only makes it harder for me, but in this tennis world nothing comes easy; you just have to prepare and be ready for the downs and the ups,” said King.
“But my goal of making the top 300 this year won’t change. I just have to go harder in practice, in matches and in my mental preparation.”
The news hasn’t been all negative for the local No. 1, though, as he stands to gain from international exposure if invited to appear in November’s Dream Cup, which is slated to bring Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Porto to play here.
“I’m definitely ready for it if I get the opportunity. I try to snatch any opportunity that’s out there, so as soon as they call my name, I will be geared up, racquet ready in my hand and just waiting.”