Davis Cup captain calls for better preps

ZIMBABWE Davis Cup team non-playing captain Takanyi Garanganga

ZIMBABWE Davis Cup team non-playing captain Takanyi Garanganga believes they could have done better against Hong Kong in their World Group II Play-off over the weekend.

They took on Hong Kong in an away tie at the Victoria Park Tennis Stadium hoping for a win to progress to the next tie in Group II scheduled for September.

However, they lost 3-1 to the hosts, which saw them being relegated to Africa Group III.

The team led by Garanganga, consisted of Benjamin Lock and Courtney Lock, who were the most experienced players for the side. They were joined by Benedict Badza and Tatenda Mutetwa.

Badza graduated from the development squad and played his first match during the Africa Group III event last year in South Africa. Mutetwa was roped in for the first time.

Garanganga said better preparations in the future could put the team in a better position when going for such assignments.

“We didn’t get the results that we expected against Hong Kong this past weekend. It was a winnable tie. The team didn’t perform to the standard that I would have loved them to perform. But it’s one of those things that is not easy for us to always swallow.

“Moving forward, probably our preparations need to be way much better after losing 3-1. Benedict Badza ended up winning his singles.”
Badza won the dead rubber, with Zimbabwe having lost the first two singles and the doubles match.

Zimbabwe will play in the Africa Group III event later in the year to try and secure a slot back to the World Group II Play-offs.

And this being the third year in a row, that they have been relegated, more needs be done if the country is to make progress in the event.

Garanganga, a former Davis Cup player himself said there is need to look at the bigger picture which is not just to earn promotion back into Group II but advancing to the highest level of the event.

“But we have got to look at the big picture of striving to World Group I and Davis Cup end of the year finals qualifiers. But the team will bounce back,” said Garanganga.

The Davis Cup team captain paid tribute to the supporters that rallied behind them during the tie and said they will keep trying so that they get the desired results.

“I would like to thank the whole Zimbabwe community and the consulate general in Hong Kong and all the supporters here in Zimbabwe for cheering us on in the stadium and obviously the supporters in Zimbabwe as well, they are always supporting us and the tennis community.

Zimbabwe have participated in the Davis Cup since 1963 and their highest achievement was reaching the quarter-finals in the Elite World Group in 1998.

Tennis Zimbabwe president Walter Jera, recently said while they have a strategic plan to improve the sport, it requires all stakeholders to work together for the country to reclaim its former glory.

“We are convinced that with our new strategic thrust to build ‘A World Class Tennis Nation’ we have what it takes to reclaim our former glory and perhaps surpass it. It is a journey, however, that requires hands on deck from all stakeholders,” said Jera.

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