ZIMBABWE Davis Cup tennis captain Martin Dzuwa is confident his team will seal promotion to the more competitive Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group II this year.
Dzuwa will lead a four-member team to represent the country at the 12-nation Africa Zone Group III tournament set for the Smash Tennis Academy in Cairo, Egypt, from September 8-13.
The other members of the team are Takanyi Garanganga and Benjamin Lock, who are both based in the United States, and the Spain-based duo of Tinotenda Chanakira and Mark Fynn.
Dzuwa, who will be the non-playing captain at the competition, said after narrowly missing out on qualification in the past, Zimbabwe had a better chance of progressing this year.
“I think our chances are pretty high this year and I’m confident that we will qualify,” Dzuwa told NewsDay Sport yesterday.
“Our team is stronger this year. We’ve Takanyi Garanganga who has been improving his ranking all the time while Mark Fynn has also been playing pretty well on the ITF Futures Circuit.
“We also have Benjamin Lock, who, in addition to having a world ranking, has been playing on the very competitive US College circuit for Florida State University.
“The other member of the team Tinotenda Chanakira, who is also a good player.
“Last year, we lost to Egypt 2-1 in the doubles decider mainly because of fatigue, but this year we have a big pool of players and I can afford to rest the other guys for the doubles.”
Dzuwa also thanked Old Mutual after the integrated financial services giant unveiled a sponsorship package worth $17 330 for the team, adding that the promotion to the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group II would be a massive boost for local tennis.
“The sponsorship from Old Mutual has been a massive boost for the team and everyone is raring to go,” he said.
“If we qualify to the Euro Africa Group Two it will be a massive boost. It will bring the game back to Zimbabwe.
“At the moment, some people don’t even know if we are still playing Davis Cup because of the group where we are now.
“Even the local business community will start to come on board and sponsor the team. We have been in this group for a while now and it’s high time we step a gear up and get to the next level.”
Zimbabwe will be battle it out for two qualification slots at the tournament with Algeria, Benin, Congo, Botswana, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria and Rwanda in Egypt.
The teams will initially be split into two round-robin pools, with play-offs determining which two teams are promoted to the 2015 Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group II competition.