Marshall overwhelms Phillips to hand Barbados sweet victory over Jamaica in Davis Cup tie

By Ricardo Chambers February 05, 2024
Barbados' Davis Cup team celebrating their hard-fought 3-2 Davis Cup victory over hosts Jamaica at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre on Sunday. Barbados' Davis Cup team celebrating their hard-fought 3-2 Davis Cup victory over hosts Jamaica at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre on Sunday. Jamaica Social

For the second time in 12 months, Kaipo Marshall produced some fifth-rubber heroics to lead Barbados to victory and keep them in World Group II of the Davis Cup, tennis' premier male team competition. Marshall repelled the challenge of Rowland Phillips 6-4 1-6 6-2 to clinch a 3-2 victory over hosts Jamaica at the Eric Bell Centre in Kingston on Sunday.

"I'm super happy. These types of matches make you dig as deep as possible, especially with the fact that I didn't serve well this tie," Marshall explained having hit 12 double faults in the match.

Not even a lengthy rain delay when the Barbadian was leading 4-0 in the third could thwart his quest for glory, and by the time the match resumed just after 6:30pm Jamaica time, the majority of the partisan crowd had left the venue as the 21-year-old converted on his second match point to complete victory in two hours and 14 minutes, with the Barbados team racing on to court in short but rapturous celebrations.

It was only Marshall's second triumph in nine Davis Cup singles matches but his previous win came in similar do-or-die circumstances against Pacific Oceania in Bridgetown last year.

"I think I've had a crazy rollercoaster of a year since then, but that match definitely helped me in this match," he said.
The win keeps Barbados in Group II while Jamaica have been relegated to Group III.

Non-playing captain, Noel Rutherford said he was disappointed but not so heartbroken at the result. "You have to give credit to the Bajan team," he said.

"I thought we had it when we levelled it all after Blaise came out firing;, I thought we would have closed it off in the final singles but that wasn't to be, this kid came out fighting and you have to give him credit."

Blaise Bicknell won both his singles matches, but defeat in doubles alongside Phillips, plus wins for Darian King and Marshall over Phillips were enough to take Barbados to the win.

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