Zim in bid to stay afloat

HARARE - Zimbabwe will be looking to remain in the Davis Cup Africa/Euro Group II by beating Turkey in the tie scheduled to start at Harare Sports Club this weekend.

Anything short of victory will see the locals being relegated to the less fashionable Africa/Euro Group III.

“This tie that we are hosting is important in the fact it will make us stay in Group II while at the same time it will give us an opportunity to fight and remain in the group when we play in another tournament in April,” Tennis Zimbabwe vice president Biggie Magarira told the Daily News yesterday.

“A defeat will see us being relegated straight away and it is not going to be an easy outing considering that the Turkish players are ranked in the top 300 while we are ranked within 400 and below.

“Our boys should really fight, the advantage we have over them playing at home is that here it’s hot and it’s cold in Turkey but these guys are professionals they travel around the world playing in different conditions so we need to be at our best.”

The draw for the tie is scheduled for Harare Sports Club this morning at 10am.

Zimbabwe’s Davis Cup team is now made up of Benjamin Lock, Takanyi Garanganga, Mark Chigaazira and Mehluli Sibanda.

Lock is now Zimbabwe’s number one seed and torch bearer after eclipsing Garanganga to number two.

The Zimbabwe number one seed will play against Turkey’s number two. The format of the tournament has also since been changed from five matches to a best of three.

“It does come with some huge cutting costs as traditionally the games used to be very long and played over a longer period of time, which some argued was too long and boring,” Magarira said.

Turkey’s team is made up of captain Haluk Akkoyun, Cem Ilkel, Altug Celikbilek, Anil Yuksel, Sarp Agabigun and Tuna Altuna.

 

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