ZIMBABWE has been relegated from the Davis Cup World Group II to Group III after Courtney Lock lost the deciding match at Harare Sports Club yesterday against Uruguay’s Ignacio Carou.
Lock succumbed 3-6, 6-3 and 4-6, with the South Americans winning the tie 3-2.
The deciding match, which started on Saturday but was interrupted by rain, saw Carou calm his nerves to give his county the right to stay in Group II.
Lock carried his momentum from Sunday after winning the second set, starting the same way he had finished.
The 27-year-old Lock broke Carou in the seventh game to lead 4-3 giving the small crowd something to cheer about.
Lock, who is ranked 1218 in the singles, could, however, not consolidate the break as Carou immediately broke back in the next game to level the set at 4-4.
Things went pear-shaped for Lock and Zimbabwe as Carou held his serve to lead 5-4, leaving the host’s second seed having to hold serve to stay in the match.
Carou transferred pressure back to Lock, winning the crucial points in the tenth game stretching Lock to deuce on his serve.
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Both players exchanged the advantage, Carou, however, converted his advantage by breaking Lock’s serve to seal the Davis Cup tie for Uruguay, breaking the hearts of Zimbabweans in the process.
Looking back, Lock will rue the chances he missed to close out the match after he broke Carou.
The Zimbabwe Davis Cup will now feature in the more demanding World Group III week-long round robin events held regionally at a date to be advised by the tournament organisers.
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