By Neto Baptiste
There will be changes to the make-up of the country’s Davis Cup team ahead of next year’s tournament in hopes of becoming more competitive at that level.
This is according to President of the Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA), Cordell Williams, who said that apart from the country’s lone professional player, Jody Maginley, the other players were simply, not up to the standard required to compete at that level.
“We have Jody Maginley, our lone professional who is doing very well but where we’re lacking is that we need to have two good players to help carry the team. Carlton Bedminster is faithful to the association [so] after this year’s Davis Cup I said to him that after this year I cannot use you anymore [as a player] but I can still use you in terms of being the captain [coach] next year, and also try to help in building back the team. So, as it stands now, we have two players we are sure of in Cordell Jr. and Jody Maginley,” he said.
The other members of the team were Carlton Bedminster, Shakir Elvin, Kyle Joseph and Cordell Williams Jr. while former national player, John Maginley, played the role of captain/coach.
Williams said the Davis Cup is a team competition and that all players must be able to pull their weight if the team is to succeed.
“When you go on the court and you feel there is somebody better than you and can beat you and you just go through the motion, for me, that’s not good. I just want to see that when we make that investment in players to take them to play tournaments and as I’ve always said, I don’t have a problem in losing but I have a problem with how you lose,” the tennis boss added.
Maginley was the only player to win in Costa Rica, claiming two of his singles encounter while he teamed up with Elvin to win their doubles contest over the USVI.
Williams said the team was hit by injury to some players.
“We had injury in our camp where Shakir got sick, Kyle got sick and even though Cordell Jr was healthy until towards the end, he could not play because we did not register him. We only registered four players to play. Once the competition starts with those four players then you cannot change because as they say, it would be a disadvantage to the other teams,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda finished seventh from amongst 11 teams that competed in Zone Three of the Americas group.