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Barbados Move Up in Davis Cup Ranking

Barbados Move Up in Davis Cup Ranking

Posted by Shanelle Weir on September 15, 2014

A new chapter was etched in history yesterday when Team Barbados booked a spot in the Davis Cup Group 1 Americas. Pulling out a rousing victory yesterday in the last match of the Group 2 final against Mexico, the local team, which consists of Darian King, Haydn Lewis, Russell Moseley and Seanon Williams, has stepped up the ladder to the highest stage the island has reached in the competition.

Speaking to members of the media at the National Tennis Centre after the 3-2 win, Lewis, who tipped the scales in the fifth and final match of the tie, said that it felt great to play his part in seeing the team to their standing. 

“It’s a great feeling. This is the first time we have ever been in this situation, where it has been two-all and it came down to the last match and I’m glad that I was able to play and managed to pull through. Everyone helped me a lot. I just went out there and my first priority was to try and just play my game and enjoy the moment,” he said.

The team’s non-playing captain, Kevin Yarde, said that the unprecedented advancement was a major boost to the team and shows the hard work put in over the past few years. 

“It feels great! To win Group 4, then Group 3 and now Group 2 is a tremendous feat for this team and I am really proud of this team. It has been a good five or six years and we had a good showing. We will always have our ups and downs as no road is always smooth, but we stick together and I am really happy for the guys.”

Playing against Chile and El Salvador before taking on Mexico in the group, Yarde retraced the team’s steps this year and said that he always had faith in his boys. 

“It has been a tremendous year. From the time I saw the draw, I had a very good feeling. When I saw that we had Chile in the first round and they are the number one seed, I told myself that if we get over this hurdle, we have a very good chance, but at the end of the day, we still have to go out there and execute on the court. I am really glad that the guys were able to get it done this weekend,” he said.

The team now has their sights set on the future, and after celebrating the win, it will be back to the drawing board. Stating that there were no reservations about stepping up the ladder, Lewis added that it was a big deal for Barbados to move up the ranking. 

“This year when we came into Group 2, we had nothing to lose and now we have even less to lose. But it is a great experience and achievement and I think we are only the second or third Caribbean country to reach this stage. Bahamas has been there before about 20 or 30 years ago, but now it’s only Barbados and the Dominican Republic,” he said.

Noting that the likes of Mexico and Chile were populated by several million people, Lewis explained that a nation of 280 000 was in a better position to do well in the tournament despite tennis ranking low on popularity in Barbados. 

“Tennis is not a big sport here and the team has been this core of players for a while now. It’s not like we have much selection to choose from and I think that works in our favour as well. We know what we have and what we have to work with and we just go forward with that. It’s not like we have to make many decisions or tactics,” he said. 

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