Barbados’ Darian King has moved to the third round of qualifying for the Australian Open after a second three-set victory against Russia’s Alexey Vatutin in Melbourne Park.
King ran out a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 winner in the three setter that came just around 24 hours after the Barbadian defeated Marcos Baghdatis in another three-setter.
King started well, breaking Vatutin twice to run out a 6-3 first-set winner but as is his usual haunt, he went to sleep in the second set and duely lost the set 6-4.
The game was expected to be tight though, as only three ranking points separated the two.
Vatutin is ranked 175 in the world, but has gone as high as 136. King, in the meantime, ranked at 172, has been as high as 106.
But, in the third set, King took control, his 6-3 win, like the one against Baghdatis proving he is strong this year.
King had yesterday dispatched the 33-year-old former World number eight, Baghdatis, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Baghdatis is currently ranked 122 in the world.
The 26-year-old King will now tackle dangerous Serbian Viktor Troicki, who has made a habit of making it into Grand Slam draws, especially the Australian Open, doing so every year since 2008.
In 2018, Troicki made the second round of the Australian open but was through to the third in 2017, 2016, 2015, and in 2011.
Troicki, now 32, is at the back end of a career that has seen him win three titles and go as high as number 12 in the world. He has also earned over US$8 million in prize money throughout his career.