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BARBADOS - Davis Cup tennis competition 2006

Damien Applewaite hits a forehand during practice by the Davis Cup squad at Sandy Lane. Looking on are team members Haydn Lewis, Michael Date and coach Kevin Yarde.

Compliments of the Nation Newsby BERNARD BABB June 2006

A FIVE-MEMBER TEAM will represent Barbados in Davis Cup tennis competition in El Salvador, starting on Wednesday.

Barbados will contest Group Four in the Americas zone along with St Lucia, Bermuda, the United States Virgin Islands, Panama and the OECS.

The team is being coached by non-playing captain Kevin Yarde and includes Russell Moseley, Damien Applewaite, Michael Date and Australia-based Haydn Lewis.

Competition is being played on red clay at the Maya Country Club in San Salvador and runs from June 14-18.

The Barbadian squad completed training sessions over the weekend and coach Yarde said they were not daunted by a lack of available clay courts on the island.

"We have a good squad of talented players and I think they will be able to make the adjustments ... we have about two days to get used to the clay," Yarde said.

The players are not new to Davis Cup play, having been on previous squads, and represent the current crop of the island's leading players.

From the glory days of competing in Group 2 in the 1980s, Barbados has been languishing in Group 4 among the weaker teams in the Americas for more than five years, and the squad is seeking to elevate the country to Group 3 this year.

"That is our mission and we will be seeking to do it for tennis in Barbados," he said.

Last year Barbados narrowly failed to graduate from the group after a three-way tie involving host country Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago ended in controversially.

According to reports from players, each team finished with a win in the tie, but the rules on governing promotion in such circumstances appeared to be unclear.

Barbados reportedly lodged a protest, but the governing body of the sport in the region apparently upheld a ruling that the team which had lost fewer sets should be the winner.


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