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JUSTIN MARVILLE

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TURNS OUT the hosts are the ones who have to hold serve.

​Forget the rankings and history, it’s Barbados that are favoured to win in the minds of their Mexican tennis counterparts.

The visitors say that the conditions and home crowd give Barbados a distinct advantage in this weekend’s Davis Cup Group II final at the National Tennis Centre.

Non-playing captain Leonardo Lavalle was the one expressing the sentiment during yesterday’s pre-tie media conference ahead of tomorrow’s start to the big showdown.

“When we beat them two years ago we played on clay courts and took them to high altitudes, but these are very different conditions and considering the good results they’ve been having here then this tie is totally different,” said Lavalle.

“We know that they play very well here with the support of the crowd, so we feel they are favourites here and obviously we respect them because they are very good players.

​​​“Darian [King] and Haydn [Lewis] are playing very well and they are coming in with two good results against Chile and El Salvador, so this tie is very open,” he added.

The rather candid response was somewhat surprising considering that not only are the 54th rated Mexicans ranked nine spots higher than the hosts, but Barbados also failed to win a single set when the teams last met in 2012.

However, the Bajans have yet to lose a single tie at the National Tennis Centre since returning to Group II two seasons ago, beating the likes of Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Chile and El Salvador behind the talents of King and Lewis.

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