HARARE - Zimbabwe's hopes of progressing to the Davis Cup Group I went up in smoke after going down to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the doubles contest of the Euro-Africa Zone Group II tie here yesterday.
The result saw Davis Cup legend Wayne Black go back into retirement after only one match since announcing his come back into the Zimbabwe Davis Cup team.
Needing to win the rubber to keep the best-of-five tie alive, Zimbabwe’s duo of Mark Fynn and Wayne Black failed to rescue Zimbabwe’s sinking ship with a 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 4-6 loss to Bosnia’s Tomislav Brkic and Mirza Basic.
The defeat saw the visitors assume an unassailable 3-0 lead with the two singles matches being played today reduced to dead rubbers.
Black, was the weakest link of the Zimbabwe doubles team as he failed to rekindle the form that made him a legend.
He had earlier been tipped to lead Zimbabwe to Davis Cup Group I but sadly his experience counted for nothing.
The 42-year-old admitted his return from retirement was a bad decision.
“It was a great experience for these young boys, for me I will definitely not play in the play-offs and I think for this one I should have left these boys to play,” Black lamented.
Zimbabwe will now play in the Euro-Africa Zone Group II relegation play-offs later this year, which they must win to retain their place in Euro-Africa Zone Group II next year.
In yesterday’s encounter, Bosnia outclassed the hosts in the first set before Zimbabwe launched a belated fight back to claim the second set 6-3.
However, the East Europeans produced an impressive performance to win the last two sets and seal the match.
The Bosnians duo, blending power and precision, dominated the third set and maintained control in the fourth, despite Black and Fynn’s efforts to fight back.
Ranked 26 places above Zimbabwe on the ITF Davis Cup national rankings, the Southern Africans, the match reflected the difference in class.
Despite the defeat Zimbabwe’s non playing captain Martin Dzuwa was hopeful that his side will remain in the Euro-Africa Group II Zone.
“We are here to stay (Euro-Africa Group II). Despite the defeat I am happy with the performance of my team,” Dzuwa told the Daily News after the match.
“It was a tough match and I think we let ourselves down in the fourth set we should have done better but it’s now back to the drawing board as we need to remain in Group II.”
Bosnia and Herzegovina captain Amer Delic was impressed by Zimbabwe’s performance.
“The match was very tight, Zimbabwe played very well it was a good experience for my players,” Delic said.
Meanwhile, Black got a parting gift after receiving an award from ITF for being one of Zimbabwe’s longest serving Davis Cup players.