Home » Sports » TZ Steps Up Davis Cup Preps

TENNIS Zimbabwe president Regis Bhunu says work is underway to raise funds for the Davis Cup EuroAfrica Group II relegation play-off tie against Moldova scheduled for July in Harare.Zimbabwe will host Moldova at Harare Sports Club on the weekend of July 17-19 and it will be the first meeting between the two countries

The hosts need to win against Moldova to remain in Group II after they fell 1-4 to Bosnia-Herzegovina in a tie staged here in March and it marked the return of the competition to this part of the world for the first time in nine years.

Zimbabwe had last hosted the Davis Cup in 2006 when they lost 1-4 to Norway in the EuroAfrica Group II at Harare Sports Club.

However, the tie against Moldova is not going to be an easy one as the visitors will also be fighting to remain in Group II after they went down 1-4 to Hungary in March.

Bhunu said they need $60 000 to host the event and although they have secured some sponsors, “there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to bring on board more sponsors.

“For the Davis Cup we are looking for something to the tune of $60 000. It’s still a lot of work to be done, we are looking for sponsors.

“We have secured certain sponsorship but we still need to do a lot of work. We still need to renovate two courts because one of the recommendations made by the referee was to have two practice courts so that each team has their own practice court and can use the centre court when they need to.

“Then the referee wanted us to have fibre broadband because the units we were using for internet were not reliable. We also need to create an office for the referee and the players’ lounge so those are the other things that need money because we were using one office with people coming in and it was proving to be difficult. We need players’ accommodation, allowances and we should be paying the officials and transportation. But for transport Hyundai will continue with their sponsorship,” said Bhunu.

The TZ president said the tie against Moldova was crucial and Zimbabwe would need to be at their best to remain in Group II as it took quite some time for the country to return to the pool after they were relegated in 2006.

“It’s very important for us to win as you can see we took a very long time to get into this group and once we go down into a lower group it’s not easy to come back.

“So it’s important we win so that we are able to host such events and, secondly, for the sake of the players to play tennis at a higher level.” Bhunu said.

“Also, on our side as administrators, it’s important that we have the Davis Cup. It’s easier to grow interest using Davis Cup than any other tournament,” Bhunu said.

Bhunu said they were hoping the team to represent the nation in the upcoming tie will be announced by the end of next week in order for preparations to start on time.

In the tie against Bosnia-Herzegovina previous event captain Martin Dzuwa, Takanyi Garanganga, Benjamin Lock, Mark Fynn and veteran Wayne Black represented Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe gained promotion into Group II from the Africa Zone Group III last year when they beat Namibia in the promotional play-offs in Egypt.

Source : The Herald