King looking to rebound
DARIAN KING may be down but he definitely isn’t out.
Barbados’ top-ranked tennis pro believes he can return to the ATP Challenger Tour and make another assault on the rankings despite reinjuring his back while playing German Bundesliga tennis.
King gave the assurance after returning home this week from his latest stint with team TV Von Osterath.
“The injury is a bit of a setback but nothing too serious. I believe when I get back to full health in a week or so I will be ready to take on the rest of the year with full force,” said the 22-year-old pro via email.
It’s the latest development in an ongoing saga with his back, which King seemed to have originally injured in January at home, and then tweaked in the opening round Davis Cup tie against Chile.
But the world No. 451 appeared to be at full fitness for April’s home rubber versus long-time rivals El Salvador.
However, that balky back flared up once more after King crashed through a fence and into a concrete pillar while running down a ball during last Sunday’s club match in Germany.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment and a MRI revealed that he suffered a spinal contusion.
“He was very lucky and fortunate not to have any fractures [and] we are all wishing him a speedy recovery,” said German coach Luis Elias.
The accident wa yet another setback to King’s rise up the world rankings, which had seen him climb as high as 392 as recently as March.
But King had to fulfil commitments in the Bundesliga, resulting in his ranking dropping back into the mid-400s as he could not appear in any ATP Tour events.
“I have to play this Bundesliga tennis league because it helps with my finances to travel throughout the rest of the year and also get some practice on clay,” he explained.
“It isn’t ideal for my schedule as I lose time on the tour and my ranking then falls [but] hopefully next year I wouldn’t have to do it.”
King is slated to continue treatment on his back in Barbados before heading on to Ecuador for an ATP Challenger Tour event with the aim of cracking the world’s top 250 by yearend.
The Barbadian recently got the opportunity to rub shoulders with German-born Jamaican tennis star Dustin Brown, who recently upset world No.1 Rafael Nadal in a tournament in Halle, Germany.
“I got the opportunity to spend three days with Dustin and his team [and] it was a great opportunity for me to be around one of the top 100 players, so I hope one day to get up to these big level events,” said King. (JM)