ZIMBABWE have jumped 16 places up to 57th on latest Davis Cup rankings released on Monday following an emphatic 3-1 triumph over Turkey in a Euro/Africa Zone Group II tie at Harare Sports Club over the weekend.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
The country becomes the third best African country in Davis Cup tennis after South Africa and Morocco, who are 40th and 53rd, respectively.
Interestingly, Poland, Zimbabwe’s next opponents, were the biggest climbers on the rankings moving a whopping 63 places to perch at 68th after stunning highly-rated Slovenia.
Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ) president, Martin Lock was elated at the country’s improved latest ranking.
“It’s fantastic to have gone up the rankings, we deserve it. It’s fair for us to be where we are, but I would like to see us go a little higher,” he told NewsDay Sport yesterday.
Egypt were the second biggest movers on the rankings, as they leapt 19 rungs up from 80 to 61, while Tunisia went down four places to 65.
Focus for Zimbabwe now shifts to the next tie to be played in Poland on April 7 and 8
“The team has already started preparations. They have been hitting some balls and working in the gym this week. We are expecting them to go on the circuit for five weeks before they regroup for the Poland away tie,” Lock said.
Takanyi Garanganga, who was impressive against Turkey, leaves to compete in Japan next week, while Benjamin Lock goes to compete in Egypt.
Poland present a difficult proposition for Zimbabwe, as two of their top players are ranked in the top 250 on the world rankings.
“We are expecting to play them on hard indoor courts, which is fine for us, but we are expecting a difficult challenge. They are a team on the rise and no one expected them to beat Slovenia,” the TZ president said.
Lock also revealed that his son, Courtney, Zimbabwe’s number three player, will miss the Poland tie again due to college commitments in the United States, where he is based.
Courtney’s absence against Turkey gave youngster, Mehluli Sibanda and Mark Chigaazira the chance in the Davis Cup team with Sibanda losing in the fourth match, a dead rubber.
TZ welcomed a new partnership with Kwese Sports, while they applauded other sponsors, who have supported the team.
Some of the sponsors are include Zuva Petroleum, Straus Logistics, Treger, BSi Steel, Auto World, Hunyani, Zimplats, Victoria Falls Safari Lodge as well as the President’s Fund.