Takanyi overcomes Finland visa barrier

CHILLING OUT . . . Members of the Zimbabwe Davis Cup tennis team (from left) Mark Fynn, captain Martin Dzuwa and Courtney Lock enjoy themselves in the snow at Kittila, Finland, ahead of this weekend’s Euro/Africa Group II tie against their Finnish opponents

CHILLING OUT . . . Members of the Zimbabwe Davis Cup tennis team (from left) Mark Fynn, captain Martin Dzuwa and Courtney Lock enjoy themselves in the snow at Kittila, Finland, ahead of this weekend’s Euro/Africa Group II tie against their Finnish opponents

Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S Davis Cup team member Takanyi Garanganga is expected to join the team in Finland today after eventually getting his visa yesterday. Garanganga is expected to fly direct from Turkey to Kittila, Finland for the tie slated for Friday to Sunday. Team captain, Martin Dzuwa, who is already in Finland with the rest of the team, yesterday confirmed that Zimbabwe’s top player would be joining them today.

The team is made up of captain Dzuwa, Garanganga, Mark Fynn and Courtney Lock. The trio of Dzuwa, Fynn and Lock arrived in Finland on Sunday while Garanganga, who is Zimbabwe’s number one player had challenges with his visa from Turkey where he was competing in a Futures event, delaying his arrival in Finland.

The team was scheduled to meet up in Finland this past Sunday and Dzuwa said it would have been good had they met as per their schedule given that the tie starts tomorrow.

“He is coming tomorrow (today), he got his visa today (yesterday). His arrival makes a difference despite the fact that he is arriving tomorrow (a day before the tie). It’s a tough call, we will see how he can adapt, then I take it from there. But we have to move on as a team.

“We will see how he is playing because the surface is easy to adapt to, but it depends with his fitness level and confidence because it’s all about concentration as well as focus on the goal,” said Dzuwa.

Dzuwa said Garanganga’s arrival will also motivate the rest of the team. “It will motivate others. I think the guys are pretty much okay . . . and so far so good we are looking forward to Friday,” said Dzuwa. Zimbabwe are missing number two player, Benjamin Lock, who withdrew from the team a few weeks before the tie.

Tennis Zimbabwe president, Regis Bhunu said they remain optimistic of a positive result in Finland, but feels the absence of Benjamin will have a negative impact on the team since he has become one of the strong players for the country.

“We still have a chance, but we would have had better chances with Benjy. We are going to play and see what’s going to happen, but we will go and do our best . . . All I am saying is that it would have been much better based on the strength of Benjy.

“Our focus this year is to get promotion. In the event this doesn’t happen our second plan will be survival because there is nothing much we can do because it’s now about results.

“Our team is becoming strong, they are maturing. Mark is now on another level, he is much experienced, Takanyi is becoming experienced and Benjy as well. We feel in the next couple of years our Davis Cup team will be strong. So whatever happens this year we have a chance to bounce back,” said Bhunu.

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