HomeSportSoccerSiney backs Wayne Black’s return

Siney backs Wayne Black’s return


FORMER Zimbabwe Davis Cup non-playing captain Gavin Siney believes Wayne Black will be a huge asset to Zimbabwe during their 2015 Euro-Africa Zone Group II tennis tie against Bosnia and Herzegovina early next month.


Black (41), a key member of the Zimbabwe side which reached the Davis Cup elite World Group in the late 1990s and early 2000 recently announced his decision to come out of retirement ahead of the crucial tie.

“Wayne will be a huge asset for this tie,” said Siney, who worked with Black during his 10-year stint as the Davis Cup non-playing captain.

“He has a lot of experience in Davis Cup, and will be able to inspire the younger players, as he achieved so much both in Davis Cup and personally. Wayne is extremely hardworking, dedicated and is a great team member. He will be able to advise the team on how to play the line up; tactically how to play the opposition; and mentally how to control themselves,” he said.

Siney, who is now based in the US where and is head coach at the Julian Krinsky School of Tennis in Philadelphia, said Zimbabwe, who will be playing their first Davis Cup home tie in nine years would benefit immensely from playing in familiar conditions. The tie between the two nations will be played on the outdoor hard courts at Harare Sports Club, where Siney believes Bosnia-Herzegovina will struggle as they are used to slower playing surfaces like clay.

“There are a number of advantages of playing at home, which give the home team a big advantage, main one being the home support,” Siney told NewsDay Sport from his base in the US.

“Court surface will also a big advantage! I think the Bosnia-Herzegovina players are probably better on a slower court surface, like clay and I presume that the court surface to be used for this tie will be a faster hard court surface.

“The altitude will also be a factor. The ball travels faster at a high altitude, and physical conditioning is a factor at high altitude, which favours our team, as they are used to the altitude. The Zimbabwe team members need to get back to Zimbabwe ASAP before the tie to practice and train at the venue
“It will also be important that our players will be eating foods that they are used to and will be happy with, having family and friends around, that helps make the home team members more relaxed ” he said.

The Zimbabwe Davis cup team of Takanyi Garanganga, Benjamin Lock, Mark Fynn, Tinotenda Chanakira and captain Martin Dzuwa earned promotion to Europe/Africa Zone Group II after defeating Namibia 2-0 in the promotion play-offs in Egypt last September.

Siney said hosting Davis Cup matches was a huge boost for the sport in Zimbabwe as it would attract young players to take up the sport.

“Having a home tie will do so much for the development of the sport. It gives the younger kids a chance to see good players in action — and gives them something to aspire to. In my 10 years as Davis Cup captain — the number of youngsters who took up the sport after having watched Wayne and Byron play was huge. It brings so much positive energy to the sport and the country as a whole I think!” Siney said.

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