Sunday, April 14, 2024

Out for revenge


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Revenge is among the only things Barbados will be looking to serve up in two months.
April can’t come soon enough for the local Davis Cup squad as the country’s best tennis players believe they will finally have El Salvador’s number when their Central American rivals come to Bim with a spot in Group II’s final on the line.
Both non-playing captain Kevin Yarde and Bajan No.1 Darian King expressed the sentiment just moments after Barbados wrapped up a historic opening round win over visitors Chile.
“We know both the Arevalo brothers very well as we’ve played against them before, so I’m confident that we can win again,” said Yarde, who captained the team in its last two defeats against El Salvador.
“[And] like I said from the very first Press conference, I believe we can beat anyone at home. We’re very comfortable playing here, playing at sea level and on our favourite surface.
“We have them at home now so I’m sure we can come up with another victory,” he added.
The comments come ahead of a much awaited rubber versus a strong Central American side that has proved the proverbial thorn in Barbados’ side after owning a 4-1 margin in the team’s head-to-head record.
El Salvador even defeated the Bajans as recent as last year, beating their guests 4-1 in an opening round tie in Santa Tecla after also securing victory at home four years ago.
Weakened side
But that most recent match-up was against a weakened Barbados side missing their second best player Haydn Lewis while playing on the less-favoured clay surfaces.
And this time the local squad will be entering the contest coming off the high of a monumental victory over Chile – a former South American power that once competed in the World Group.
“Haydn didn’t come the last time and now he’s here so our team is back to full strength, so I’m just really waiting on them,” said King.
“Haydn played Marcelo [Arevalo] already and lost, but it was a great match with Haydn having his chances. And I’ve played against Rafael [Arevalo], leading 2-0 in every set, but hopefully this confidence now can make me win the sets a lot easier.
Barbados also have the confidence of playing unbeaten at home in their return to Group II action following wins over Chile, Puerto Rico and Paraguay over the last three years.
King has been near perfect in front of his home crowd too, especially against Chile when he capped a spectacular three-day performance by winning his reverse singles in straight sets before Jorge Aguilar pulled one back for the visitors by beating Russell Moseley 6-1, 6-2.
“First we’re going to enjoy this victory,” said a jubilant Yarde.
“Darian then goes back up to Florida to play some more tournaments and Haydn, Seanon and Russell will continue their training to prepare for El Salvador.”


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