The Zimbabwe Davis Cup team managed to make a quick return to World Group II after they beat Namibia 2-1 in a promotional play-off on the clay indoor courts at the Bachdjarah Tennis Club in Algiers, Algeria on Saturday.
After suffering an early setback with Namibia’s Connor Schalk Van Schalkwyk getting the better of Mehluli Sibanda 6-3 6-4 in the first match, the country’s number one player Benjamin Lock restored parity with a hard-fought 3 – 6 6 – 4 7 – 6 victory over Codie Schalk Van Schalkwyk in the second rubber.
The doubles pair of Benjamin and Courtney Lock dispatched Codie and Connor Schalk Van Schalkwyk 6 – 0 6 – 1 to hand Zimbabwe victory and grab the final slot to the Davis Cup 2023 World Group II Play-offs.
Zimbabwe took part in the eight-team Africa Group III competition which ran from last Wednesday and managed to reach the playoff final after finishing second in a Pool A which included winners Ivory Coast, Benin and Mozambique.
In Pool A, Zimbabwe had the worst possible start after losing 2-1 to Ivory Coast on Wednesday before they bounced back the following day to dismiss Benin 2 – 1 and the finished with a flourish after dispatching Mozambique 3 – 0.
Pool winners automatically gained promotion to World Group II but Zimbabwe had to play Pool B runners-up Namibia to decide the third country to gain the elevation.
Pool B comprised table-toppers Morocco who went on to beat Ivory Coast to claim the championship, hosts Algeria, Kenya and Namibia.
Kenya and Mozambique dropped down to lowly Davis Cup Africa Group IV after losing their relegation playoff against Algeria and Benin.
Algeria and Benin remain in Africa Group II.
It was Zimbabwe’s non-playing captain Freeman Nyamumokora’s first game in charge after he took over from Gwinyai Tongoona last month.