Chance for Zim tennis team


Zimbabwe will have more time to prepare for Davis Cup campaign this year after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) rescheduled this years Euro-Africa Zone Group III tournament scheduled for Tunisia.

Tennis Zimbabwe official Cliff Nhokwara said yesterday the nine-team tournament which had been slated for the weekend commencing April 23 had been postponed.

He said: The Davis Cup tournament has been moved from April as earlier announced to July. It will still be hosted in Tunisia in July, but the actual dates the competition is supposed to be held are yet to be confirmed.

Nhokwara said the delay was a blessing in disguise for Zimbabwe as it would give the association more time to prepare.

Its actually very good for us that the tournament has been moved as it gives us more time to look for support for the team so that they prepare adequately.

In fact, moving the tournament to July also allows some of our players like Mbonisi Ndimande and Benjamin Lock who are at Universities in the USA a chance to take part as they will be on their semester break, said Nhokwara.

Ndimande is at Santa Barbara University in California while Lock recently made a move to Florida State University.

Teams competing for promotion into the Euro-Africa Zone Group II this year include Algeria, Benin, Cote dIvoire, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, hosts Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

This years tournament will be played on a round-robin format with all teams divided into three pools.
The top nation in each pool plays off against runners-up in the other pool, with two winning nations being promoted to Europe-Africa Zone Group II for 2013.

Last year, Unites States-based young tennis star Takanyi Garanganga, Benjamin Lock together with Mark Fynn finished third with hosts Egypt and Madagascar being promoted to Group II.

Zimbabwes Davis Cup team is now a pale shadow of its former glory ever since the retirement of the Black siblings Byron and Wayne.