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King fixed on his goals

Justin Marville

King fixed on his goals

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For Darian King, the worst is already behind him.

At least his return game seems on point, as Barbados’ top tennis pro has bounced back from last month’s regretful disqualification after claiming he refused to let the untimely incident affect him mentally.

King expressed the sentiment in a NATION SPORT exclusive – his first public comments since apologising for accidentally hitting a lineswoman during a first-round match of the Charlottesville ATP Challenger.

“Not that I’m insensitive, but I wasn’t really following the accident after it happened because I was just trying to focus on my next tournament,” explained King about the quick turnaround.

“I really don’t read many newspapers or watch the news that much because I am either focusing on tennis or travelling.

“However, the ATP is currently reviewing the situation and I will see if I get a lesser sentence by next week,” he revealed.

The situation threatened not to blow over as quickly as it did, with the Internet exploding with video footage of the then world No. 310 throwing his racquet against a tarpaulin in disgust. The racquet glanced off the tarp and hit the lineswoman in the back.

King checked on her status before getting disqualified, and issued a public apology on his Facebook page, but the incident drew the ire of many across the Internet.

But his camp is reporting that his major sponsors have stood behind the Bajan ace, and Barbados Tennis Association president Dr Raymond Forde said he expected King to bounce back as the act was “very uncharacteristic” of the standout 22-year-old.

And King wasted no time in proving him right, immediately advancing to the quarter-finals of a Futures event in Alabama despite dealing with elbow problems due to the cold weather.

However, he truly put the accident in his review mirror in Mexico, where he lost a heroic three-hour marathon final of the Primer Torneo Internacional Varonil Future Huatulco.

His best is yet to come, though, at least according to King, who has his eyes set on contesting a Grand Slam next season.

“I would have to get close to the top 250 in the world and that is what I am aiming for, but I would like to play at the US Open because that was the last place my mum saw me playing,” said the current world No. 337.

“I played US Open Juniors but now I want to do it as a senior.”

King is scheduled to appear in one more Futures event before contesting the Central American And Caribbean Games.