King and Lewis propel Barbados to 2-1 lead over Jamaica with thrilling doubles victory in Davis Cup playoff

By Ricardo Chambers February 04, 2024
The Jamaican duo of Bicknell and Phillips lost their doubles encounter against the Barbados pair of King and Lewis on Sunday. The Jamaican duo of Bicknell and Phillips lost their doubles encounter against the Barbados pair of King and Lewis on Sunday. Tennis Jamaica

Darian King and Haydn Lewis have given Barbados a 2-1 lead over Jamaica after defeating Blaise Bicknell and Rowland Phillips in a thrilling doubles rubber in their World Group II Davis Cup Playoff tie at the Eric Bell Centre in Kingston.

King and Lewis rallied from a set down to secure victory 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The tie was locked at 1-1 after Saturday's opening day which saw Bicknell beating Kaipo Marshall 6-1 3-6 6-1 and King edging Phillips in a 6-3 3-6 7-5 thriller.

The Jamaican pair edged a very tight first set, after breaking Lewis' serve in the seventh game, before they closed it out at the second opportunity by again breaking the Barbadians in the ninth.

While the first set had just one break of serve, there were three in the second with Barbados claiming two in the third and seventh games before King served out the set at love.

It set up a blockbuster third set and it was Barbados who held their nerve on the back of an outstanding performance from Lewis.

The lefty volleyed and returned superbly and then closed it out with precision serving.

"I have been in this situation a lot of times and I understand Darian, he's been my partner for many years, so I know that he can get down, so a lot of times I have to be the one to take control."

The 38-year-old has been representing Barbados at this level for 22 years and he drew on all his experience in the final set.

He was clinical in the decider, controlling the big moments when others seemed indecisive.

Overall it was a high quality match, with all four players having their moments.

King saved four set points when serving down 1-2 in the third, pulling out the marathon game despite a controversial line call unfortunately going against them.

Another big moment was when the Jamaicans saved four break points when Phillips was serving at 3-3, but Barbados ultimately won the marathon game after 20 minutes, which was the crucial break needed to take the match.

Blaise Bicknell is currently facing Darian King in the first reverse singles, a match Jamaica must win to stay alive in the tie, and remain in Group II.

 

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