Zim's Davis Cup uphill task

HARARE - Zimbabwe's quest to qualify for the Davis Cup Group I gets underway this morning against a highly-rated Bosnia-Herzegovina side at Harare Sports Club.

Non-playing captain Martin Dzuwa leads the local team that includes Takanyi Garanganga, Benjamin Lock, Mark Fynn, Tinotenda Chanakira and Wayne Black.

Top seed Garanganga who is ranked 324 on world rankings gets the ball rolling at 10am this morning against Bosnia-Herzegovina’s second-seed Mirza Basic, ranked 199 in the world.

That match will be followed by a David and Goliath contest between Zimbabwe’s second seed Lock, ranked 1 205 against world number 89 Bosnian first seed  Damir Dzumhur.

On Saturday, the two teams will square off in the doubles contest with Black who is unranked due to inactivity partnering Fynn who is ranked 677 in doubles.

The duo face Bosnia’s Tomislav Brkic and Basic who have a world doubles ranking of 375 and 680 respectively.

The reverse singles will be played on Sunday with Zimbabwe’s Garanganga and Florida State University student Lock facing Dzumhur and Basic respectively.

Black who came out of retirement on the age of 41, warned his teammates to be on their best if they are to win the tie.

“We have to fight hard for us to win the tie. Even though we have home advantage we need to work hard because they have a good team,” Black told the Daily News yesterday.

“I have given my teammates little tips on how to win Davis Cup matches. Davis Cup matches always come with pressure and I think my experience will add value to the team,” added Black

Garanganga, who played an instrumental role when the country gained promotion from Group III, said he is taking this match like any other match he plays all over the world.

“We are not under pressure. For me I want to play like what I normally do in other tournaments all over the world.

“I am confident that Zimbabwe tennis supporters will be happy this coming weekend, they must come in numbers, we do not want to disappoint our fans,” said Garanganganga.

On the ITF Davis Cup Nations Rankings, Bosnia is ranked 48 while Zimbabwe are a distant 74.

However, Bosnia and Herzegovina captain Amer Delic is not reading too much into those statistics and will not underrate Zimbabwe.

“On paper we are a better a side, but to tell you the truth Zimbabwe also have good players. Look at Garanganga (he) is posting positive results in recent tournaments. So they is no need to underrate our opponents,” Delic said.

Last year, Zimbabwe team won promotion into the Group II after finishing ahead of Madagascar, Congo and Nigeria.

Dzuwa’s team beat Congo and Nigeria with a similar 3-0 score, Madagascar 2-1 before edging Namibia 2-0 in the semi-finals to qualify for Group II which ended the country’s nine year wait.

That impressive performance saw the team win the Team of the Year award at the 2014 Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa) in December.

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