Zimbabwe still alive in rain-interrupted Davis Cup tie

Tennis player Benjamin Lock

ZIMBABWE’S Davis Cup Group II first round tie against Uruguay will go into an extra day after rain forced the abandonment of the decisive encounter with the tie evenly poised at two matches apiece at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

Entering the second and final day, both teams were eager to seize the initiative after they both won one match apiece in the singles matches on Friday.

The hosts however, left themselves with a lot of work to do when the Lock brothers, Benjamin and Courtney, lost 6-2 6-4 to Uruguay’s Ariel Behar and Martin Cuevas, in the crucial doubles rubber in one hour 19 minutes.

The loss in the doubles left Zimbabwe needing to win both the reverse singles matches for them to win the tie.

The country’s number one player Benjamin Lock ensured that the hosts remained in firm contention after putting on a spirited perfomance to beat Uruguay’s Martin Cuevas in the first reverse singles of the Davis Cup Group II first round match to help his side level at two matches all.

The elder of the Lock siblings won 6-4 6-4 in one hour 43 minutes to push the tie into a deciding fifth match between his younger brother Courtney and Uruguay’s Ignacio Carou.

The 26-year-old doubles specialist lost the first set 6-3 and the two players had won a game apiece in the second set before play was called off after a heavy downpour which descended on the match venue.

The match will be continued at 11am today.

Earlier, on Friday's opening day, the hosts got off to a slow start after Courtney lost 6-3 6-2  in one hour and 20 minutes against Cuevas in the first singles match.

Courtney, who is usually a doubles specialist, had replaced Mehluli Sibanda as the home team's number two singles player on the eve of the tie due to medical reasons.

With the visitors going 1-0 up, however, Zimbabwe’s number one player Benjamin Lock put a stop to a potential runaway defeat against the fancied South Americans.

The older of the Lock siblings, Benjamin had to dig deep into his reservoir of experience to secure a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Uruguay’s number two Carou to level the score at 1-1 after the first day's action.


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