Zim face potential SA clash

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

ZIMBABWE will today discover their opponents for the 2019 Davis Cup Europe/Africa Group II, with a clash against neighbours South Africa being possible, as the two sides feature in the same group of the prestigious men’s team tennis competition.

The draw for the Davis Cup Groups I and II will take place at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) offices in London, the United Kingdom, this afternoon following the confirmation of the latest rankings and the tournament’s make-up yesterday.

Zimbabwe who, according to the latest rankings, remained in position 61, are one of the six unseeded sides in the 12-team Europe/Africa Group II alongside Bulgaria (64), Georgia (63), Morocco (57), Slovenia (56) and Turkey ranked at 59.

Neighbours South Africa (44) are the second-highest ranked team in the group, behind Romania (42) and ahead of Denmark (47), Lithuania (48), Egypt (52) and Norway, who are ranked 55.

In a statement yesterday, the ITF said nations in the Davis Group II would have the choice to contest their ties in April or September.

The format will remain unchanged from the trials that were introduced in 2018, with ties being made up of four singles rubbers and one doubles rubber contested over the space of two days.

Zimbabwe enjoyed a solid season in the Davis Cup competition, after starting the 2018 campaign with an emphatic 3-1 triumph over Turkey at home in the first round last February.

The local side, however, missed the opportunity to progress to the Euro/Africa Zone Group I promotion play-offs after falling 4-1 in a Group II second round tie that concluded in Sopot, Poland, two months later.

Brothers Benjamin and Courtney Lock, United States-based star Takanyi Garanganga, together with promising young players Mehluli Sibanda and Mark Chigaazira, are expected to be part of the Zimbabwe team which will be led by non-playing captain Gwinyai Tongoona.

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