THE Dairibord Zimbabwe Davis Cup team begins the march towards the elite tennis World Group with a crunch Euro Africa Zone Group One 1st round tie against Greece at the City Sports Centre today.
A win for Zimbabwe will book them a place in the second round away to Belgium with a win against the Europeans guaranteeing a place in the World Group.
A win against Belgium will propel Zimbabwe into the elite 16 while a loss against Greece will condemn Zimbabwe to a relegation tie between the losers of the South Africa/Slovakia match.
Zimbabwe’s chance against Greece depends on the performance of Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett.
In June last year Genius Chidzikwe led a Zimbabwean team to Israel which lost 0-5.
The 30-year-old Wayne is Zimbabwe’s top seed. His passion and commitment has spurred on the team to success.
“Shumba”, as he is affectionately called in tennis circles, has rubbed shoulders with the best in world tennis, condemning some to the rails. He was part of the Mildura lawn courts team of 1998 which gored Australia in their backyard.
His combination with Ullyett in the doubles has been irresistible.
On their victims list lie Americans Rick Leach, Alex O’Brien, Jared Palmer and Don Johnson.
Second seed Ullyett will support Wayne in the singles as well as the doubles matches. Ullyett played the best game of his life last year when he triumphed over Italian Filippo Volandri 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(5).
Chidzikwe and Gwinyai Tongoona complete the Zimbabwean team. Chidzikwe, until the Israel tie, had been confined to dead rubbers.
Led by top player Konstantinos Economidis, the Greek team will be no pushover.