HARARE - Zimbabwe Davis Cup team’s hopes of progressing to the next round of Euro-Africa Zone Group II tie went up in smoke after going down to Finland in the doubles tie in Kittila yesterday.
Zimbabwe will now face Georgia in the relegation play-offs to remain in Euro-Africa Group II.
Needing to win the rubber to keep the best-of-five tie alive, Zimbabwe’s duo of Mark Fynn and Courtney Lock failed to rescue Zimbabwe’s sinking ship with a 6-1 6-0 6-1 loss to Finland’s Henri Kontinen and Jarkko Nieminen yesterday.
On Friday, Zimbabwe top seed Takanyi Garanganga put in a spirited fight but failed to overcome Finland’s Harri Heliovaara, who won the tie 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Before Garanganga’s tie, Lock was outclassed by Nieminen, who recorded a straight sets victory of 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.
The defeat sees Finland assume an unassailable 3-0 lead with the two singles matches being played today reduced to dead rubbers.
The Mbare-born Garanganga takes on Nieminen while Heliövaara faces Lock with the captains having the right to change players an hour before the start of the match
Last year, Zimbabwe had to beat visiting Moldova 5-0 in the play-offs to remain in Euro-Africa Zone Group II. Zimbabwe had to take part in this play-off after losing their Group II match against Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-1 in March.