Monday 6 February 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Sports, Tennis
Barbados secured the Group 2 tie in the deciding rubber when Kaipo Marshall came from a set down to defeat Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
It was an agonising defeat for the Pacific-Oceania team after Colin Sinclair and Brett Baudinet earlier won their doubles tie to establish a 2-1 lead.
However, Sinclair subsequently lost his singles match against Barbados No.1 Darian King in straight sets, forcing the decider.
Baudinet told Cook Islands News: “Losing a nailbiter like this is very gut wrenching to say the least. It felt like we had one foot over the victory line, then it was pulled back, then the other foot went over, and then we lost.”
“It all came down to the very last set of all five matches to decide the victor, and I’m still feeling the loss quite heavily.”
Despite the overall loss, Baudinet said he was extremely proud of his match play in the doubles and felt that he handled the pressure very well.
“The match couldn’t have been any closer, as the stats showed both sides won 100 points each in the entire doubles. It was a great win for us to gain the lead 2-1 and put the pressure on Barbados.
“In the end I’m proud of the team as we all left it out on the court. At the end of the day, I think the home court advantage is what helped tipped the tie in Barbados favour as it was a very electrifying atmosphere right to the last point.”
The team this year comprised Colin Sinclair from Saipan, Clement Mainguy from Vanuatu, Baudinet, Gillian Osmont from Tahiti and Junior Fanguna from Tonga.
In lead up to the Barbados tournament, the Pacific Oceania team was ranked 71 in the world out of 153 countries, ranking higher than the likes of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Baudinet had a 13-2 winning record for doubles in the last four years heading to last week’s tournament.