Home » Sports » Zim Davis Cup Team Fall Short

ZIMBABWE’S return to the EuroAfrica Group II Davis Cup was marked by a disappointing show that saw the team losing 1-4 to Bosnia-Herzegovina in a tie played at Harare Sports Club over the weekend.

The hosts, staging a Davis Cup match for the first time in nine years, came a-cropper against the fired-up East Europeans and with their fate having been sealed when they lost the third match – the doubles on Saturday – Zimbabwe were merely playing for pride in yesterday’s dead rubbers.

On Saturday the pair of Mirza Basic and Brkic beat Wayne Black and Mark Fynn 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 4-6 in the doubles.

Zimbabwe could, however, only managed a consolation when Benjamin Lock won the match after his Bosnia-Herzegovina opponent retired due to a fever.

But more disappointingly for Zimbabwe was that their No. 1 player Takanyi Garanganga could not muster a win even against one of the Bosnians’ reserve players.

After taking an unassailable 3-0 lead on Saturday, Bosnia-Herzegovina elected to rest their top two players for yesterday’s reverse singles but still Garanganga found the going tough on court.

Garanganga lost 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 5-7 to Bosnia-Herzegovina’s No. 3 player, Tomislav Brkic, in one of the singles reverse matches yesterday.

The visitors elected to rest their number one player, Damir Dzumhur, and second seed Mirza Basic, who inspired them to a 2-0 lead on Friday.

Zimbabwe got their consolation from Benjamin Lock, who won the second match against Nerman Fatic, who retired just after the first set.

The United States-based player was leading after winning the first set 6-3 but Fatic retired due to a fever.

Lock, who was having a good day on the court with a good serve that saw him taking crucial points in the first set, reckoned that the tie had been an “eye-opener” for him as he also enjoyed playing before a home crowd for the first time in a long time.

“I thought I played really well today. I thought I served good and it’s always difficult to start off in a match with a little bit of nerves but I settled comfortably in the middle of the first set.

“I was really excited to play in the second set and really relaxed and play my game but unfortunately he (Fatic) was sick. He had some health issues and it’s one of those things, it’s never nice to win with a retirement. But I am just grateful that I could play today for Zim- babwe.

“It’s an honour and privilege to be able to play for Zimbabwe at home and to wear that shirt. I had a great week, I learnt a lot and will be ready for the next tie. I think Bosnia were always the favourites from the start. They had a very good team, very smart players.

“Tennis is a day-to-day thing, if Takanyi had gotten a few points here and there and I had a few points here and there maybe the whole tie could have been different. In the doubles, we were so close but that’s tennis for you, its margins and one point can make the difference. So I think we learnt a lot from the first tie and we will be better prepared and ready to go for the second one in July.

“It was great, first professional event that I have played in Zimbabwe in the last five, six years so it was great to play at home and fans and family can see you play and great amount of local support,” said Lock.

Lock said although he lost his match against Dzumhur on Friday, the match boosted his confidence considering the difference in their rankings. Lock is ranked 1 205 while Dzumhur is ranked 89.

“I gave it my best on Friday and he (Dzumhur) is a very good player and really experienced player. A few points here and there could have gone my way and I felt it could have been a different match. But I give full credit to him and it’s very encouraging to know that I was competing well with a guy in the top 100 in the world. I am just going to take that confidence and try to keep improving every day,” said Lock.

Bosnia-Herzegovina non-playing captain Amer Delic was impressed by his side’s performance and attributed their victory to experience.

“I think as far as the rest of the tie our team really played well. I think the experience of playing some of these matches in Group II and playing some of the tough players showed in this tie. So it was good.

“We are happy we enjoyed our stay here, we had a great experience, our first time here, everybody was so nice . . . We are just happy with this, we were not looking ahead we had to take care of this first,” said Delic.

Delic said it was unfortunate Fatic had to retire but wanted him to play for the sake of getting experience of playing at such a level.

“I started off with the last player, he came in he wasn’t feeling that great. I think it was hay fever or signs of an infection so he was struggling with breathing but I wanted him to play anyway because he needs the experience and obviously he couldn’t play all the way through. But Benjy was playing good,” said Delic.

Zimbabwe will now play Moldova in the second round to remain in the EuroAfrica Group II.

Moldova lost 1-4 to Hungary, who will now play Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Source : The Herald