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.

Things remain evenly poised between Jamaica and Barbados at 1-1 in their World Group II Davis Cup playoff tie, as Darian King bettered Jamaican counterpart Rowland Phillips in an entertaining second rubber at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre in Kingston on Saturday.

After Jamaica’s Blaise Bicknell recovered from a second set slump to beat Kaipo Marshall 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 in the first contest, King outlasted Phillips 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in a tough encounter that took two hours and 54 minutes to decide a winner.

The contest, as expected, was characterized by long grinding rallies given the style of play of both King and Phillips.

In the end, it was the 31-year-old Barbadian ranked at 547 in the world that took top honours over his 30-year-old opponent, who played with a heavily bandaged right knee.

Action concludes on Sunday with the doubles rubber and reverse singles.

Blaise Bicknell recovered from a second set slump to beat Kaipo Marshall and give Jamaica the advantage against Barbados following the first rubber of their World Group II Davis Cup playoff tie at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre in Kingston on Saturday.

Bicknell prevailed 6-1 3-6 6-1.

Despite a sluggish start, and the first three games going to deuce, Bicknell saved break point in the opening game of the contest and fought to a 3-0 lead, before ultimately running away with the set 6-1.

The 21-year-old Barbadian responded in the second set, breaking early, before shocking the partisan crowd by rushing to a 3-0 lead.

However, the 22-year-old Bicknell, ranked 319 in the world and number one in the Caribbean, momentarily pulled his game together with precise serving and strong forehands to level at three apiece.

The momentum again shifted with Marshall breaking once on his way to winning the next three games and take the set 6-3.

He saved three break points and squandered three set points, before holding his nerve when Bicknell dumped a backhand return in the net. 

Last year, Marshall heroically, came from a set and 4-5 down to beat Pacific Oceania's Clement Mainguy to keep Barbados in group II, but he couldn't complete this mission, as Bicknell, sensing the challenge, stepped up and ran away with the third 6-1, punctuating the victory with a second serve ace.

"I didn't play my best but I found a way to get the job done," Bicknell said following the win in sweltering heat.

"I played a good first and third set and once I relaxed I was comfortable,” he added.

Marshall also felt he was far from his best.

"I definitely didn't play the level I wanted to today, I felt definitely like I was right there with him, but I felt like I defeated myself,” he lamented.

Neither player hit their best game on the day, but ultimately, Bicknell's superior quality was the difference.

There were moments he looked like the man who is coming off his first ATP challenger title. His serve out wide on the deuce court in big moments was a major factor, and his heavy forehand also did a lot of damage.

Marshall struggled on second serve. He hit four doubles in his first service game, a problem which persisted throughout the match.

The day's second rubber between Darian King of Barbados and Rowland Phillips of Jamaica is currently underway.

Action concludes on Sunday with the doubles rubber and reverse singles.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.