Ellina Mhlanga-Senior Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Davis Cup tennis team will be out to chase for favourable results to get promoted back to the World Group II play-offs when they get their campaign underway today in the Africa Group III event in Algiers, Algeria.
The event is running until Saturday with eight countries — Algeria, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe — taking part. They were divided into two pools of four.
Zimbabwe are in Pool A alongside Benin, Mozambique and Cote d’Ivoire.
Pool B is made up of Morocco, Kenya, Namibia and Algeria.
Three nations will be promoted to the World Group II Play-offs and two nations will be relegated to Africa Group IV.
Zimbabwe were relegated to the Africa Group III after losing to El Salvador in the World Group II Play-offs at Harare Sports Club in March.
The team, which is being led by captain Freeman Nyamunokora, is made up of the Lock brothers — Benjamin and Courtney — Mehluli Sibanda and Benedict Badza.
They are up against Cote d’Ivoire in their first encounter.
Speaking ahead of the event, Nyamunokora said they are not reading much on what is on paper and want to focus on performing on the court.
“We have got a good chance to get back. But we really want to focus on performing on the court and not thinking really what we are on paper. There are also dark horses there. We have got countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Namibia and Benin, they have got experienced players.
“So definitely Morocco and Zimbabwe are the tough teams there but we definitely want to focus on each match as we play so that we don’t get too relaxed and think it’s a given since there are three teams being promoted.
“It can be tricky because every nation has got a very good player,” said Nyamunokora.
After being drawn into Pool A, where they are up against Benin, Mozambique and Cote d’Ivoire yesterday, Nyamunokora said they expect tough competition from Cote d’Ivoire.
United States-based Thabo Ncube, who was expected to be part of the team, could not make it to Algeria.
The pool stages matches will be played on a round-robin from today up to Friday while the play-offs will be played on Saturday.
The winners of each pool will be directly promoted to compete in the World Group II Play-offs in 2023.
The second team in each pool will compete in a play-off on the final day to determine the third promoted team.
The bottom two teams in each pool will compete in crossover play-offs to determine the two teams that will be relegated to compete in Africa Group IV in 2023.