THE ZIMBABWE Davis Cup team got their campaign underway at the ongoing Africa Group III event on a losing note when they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Namibia yesterday at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
It was their first of the three ties in Pool B before they go for the play-offs on Saturday.
First on the court was Benedict Badza and he lost 6-3, 6-4 to Connor Henry Van Schalkwyk.
Zimbabwe’s number one player Benjamin Lock, the most experienced in the team, levelled the score when dismissing Codie Schalk Van Schalkwyk 6-3, 6-0 in the second singles match.
Lock then teamed up with Badza for the doubles and they lost 6-1, 6-4 to the Van Schalkwyk brothers – Connor and Codie.
It was a disappointing defeat for Zimbabwe, who beat Namibia 2-1 in the same event last year, in the promotional play-off to earn their promotion back to the World Group II Play-offs in Algiers, Algeria.
Zimbabwe were relegated to the less fashionable Africa Group III when they lost their World Group II Play-off against Uruguay early this year.
They are up against Benin in the second tie today and will be out for a win to keep their hopes for promotion alive.
The team is led by captain Takanyi Garanganga.
The other team members are Liberty Nzula and Takura Mhwandagara.
In the other Pool B tie, Benin defeated Senegal 2-1.
In Pool A, hosts South Africa outclassed Algeria 3-0 in their opening tie while Togo beat Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 in the other tie.
The group stages are being played in a round-robin format and the final positions will be determined by positional play-offs.
The top teams from the two groups will be automatically promoted.