Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
TENNIS Zimbabwe are optimistic ahead of the Davis Cup Africa Zone Group III promotional event in Cairo, Egypt, from July 17 to 22 and they have roped in two youngsters into the team.

Zimbabwe will be out to regain promotion into the Europe/Africa Zone Group II after they were relegated last year.

The team is made up of Takanyi Garanganga and Benjamin Lock, who are coming in as the senior players, while Tadiwa Chinamo and Mehluli Sibanda are the two young players joining them on this mission.

Mark Fynn and Mark Chigaazira, who made an impression at the just-ended International Tennis Federation Old Mutual Futures Series in Harare, are on standby in the event there is need to change the team.

TZ convener of selectors Tanya Chinamo yesterday said they were looking at bridging the gap between the upcoming players and the seniors as they prepare for the future.

“Obviously, we are starting to introduce some youngsters into the team so that they start to get a feel of playing Davis Cup (tennis).

“So we are trying to get youngsters, that’s why you see we have got some good youngsters coming up. So it’s a developmental team but also we have got our big guns in the team.

“What’s been happening is that one or two players, when they retire, you don’t have the back-up. So we have got to start building the back-ups.

‘’We are trying to bridge the gap, the guys are still young, Tadiwa and Mark (Chigaazira) and Mehluli, they are still teenagers. So we want them to get the experience early,” said Chinamo.

Sibanda had the opportunity to travel with last year’s team to Georgia as part of the national association’s developmental programme.

Zimbabwe will join nine other countries – Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Rwanda – in the battle for the two promotional tickets into Europe/Africa Zone Group II next year.

The participating teams will be divided into two pools of five – Pool A and B.

The winner of Pool A will face the runner-up in Pool B while the Pool A runner-up will square off against the Pool B winner to determine the two nations that will be promoted.

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