King overcomes Brazilian
Top tennis player Darian King battled hot sweltering conditions in Criciuma, Brazil yesterday to set the customary Davis Cup template for the Bajan team by defeating homeboy Joao De Menezes 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 after two hours and 37 bruising minutes.
Facing vocal home crowd support as well as meeting 22-year-old De Menezes on the latter’s favourite outdoors clay court, King struggled early to find his rhythm against the recent Pan Am gold medallist in Peru. Even so, the 3-6 score-line did not reflect the closeness of the games in the opening set with both players fighting to establish an advantage.
However, King’s ground strokes and greater experience then showed the disparity between the two players with the Bajan ranked at 169 to De Menezes’ 194. Unreeling his passing forehand blazers and deft backhand strokes, King moved from 1-1 in the second set to 4-1. De Menezes then found a Samba wave as well as his favourite clay underfoot to battle back to 4-4 in games winning a double break point at 3-4.
King held his nerve and serve to triumph in the second set to set up the decider. With De Menezes committing a double fault in the first game, King did not capitalise fully as he also made the same error. Racking up winning break points on either side of a similar success by De Menezes, King stroked his way within sight of victory 4-1 before the Brazilian fired his sole ace of the match to keep hope alive 2-4.
But, as customary as rain on Kadooment Day, King took the match to give Barbados a 1-0 advantage in the contest. However, southpaw Haydn Lewis could not maintain that edge going into today’s doubles as he folded to Thiago Monteiro 2-6, 2-6. (KB)
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