27 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Tennis Team Ponders U.S.Preps Camp

TENNIS Zimbabwe (TZ) is considering a two-week training camp ahead of the 2013 Davis Cup Africa Zone Group III tournament scheduled for May.

This year's edition, which will see 15 countries being placed in four pools with top two nations winning promotion to Euro/Africa Zone Group II in 2014, runs from May 13 to 18 at Egypt's Smash Tennis Academy.

TZ vice-president Regis Bhunu said the United States was the ideal place for the camp because there are a number of Zimbabwean players plying their trade there.

"We have resolved to fundraise between US$15 000 to US$20 000 to allow our players to camp in America for at least two weeks before the tournament. We want to have a bigger pool of players training and America is the most ideal country because a number of our players live there. The advantage we have is that all our players save for two [Tinotenda Chanakira and Mark Fynn] are based in America," Bhunu said.

"We have to qualify for the Davis Cup Africa Zone Group II, so we have to assemble the best team. Our players need to gel and the only way we can achieve that is by having these players in camp for a longer period. We need to have the right doubles combinations."

Bhunu also revealed that they were still to settle on the coach, but that one of the players' coaches had agreed to assist the team at the tournament.

"A number of coaches are ready to assist us and that includes Takanyi's coach [Ronald Jean-Martin Agéno]. We will engage him because we really want to qualify. The timing of the training camp will largely depend on the players' schedules, but we have to do it," he added.

Zimbabwe's players based in the US are Takanyi Garanganga, Takura Happy, Mbonisi Ndimande, Tendai Tapfuma, Vusi Hove and Benjamin Lock. The other two members of the team, Chanakira and Fynn are based in Spain.

How the tournament is going to be played

The tournament will be played on round robin basis with top nations in pools A and B drawn to play against top nations in pools C and D. The two winning nations will be promoted to Europe/Africa Zone Group II for 2014.

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