Zimbabwe are set to remain in Davis Cup World Group II after a 4 – 0 drubbing by Tunisia in the competition’s knockouts at Tennis Club de Tunis on Friday and Saturday.
After the win Tunisia progresses to the 2022 World Group I playoffs while Zimbabwe remains in the same group.
The odds were stacked against Zimbabwe playing a team ranked seven places above them in the Davis Cup ranking but a better performance was also expected.
Zimbabwe lost the first two matches on the first day, Mehluli Sibanda losing to the Tunisian number one Malek Jaziri 6 – 0 6 – 1 before the country’s top player Benjamin Lock was beaten 2 – 6 7 – 6 7 – 5.
A lot was expected of Lock and his young brother Courtney in the doubles rubber which was a do or die encounter but found Jaziri and Skander Mansouri in an uncompromising mood, falling in straight sets 6 – 3 6 – 2.
The youngest member of the Zimbabwean team Thabo Ncube was given a run in one of the two dead rubbers and he was beaten 6 – 4 6 – 0 by Aziz Ouakaa. The two teams agreed not to play the final rubber.
Former Zimbabwe Davis Cup team fringe player Gwinyai Tongoona is the non-playing captain while seasoned player Takanyi Garanganga did not make the trip to the North African nation due to injury.