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Zimbabwe Davis Cup team ready for Hong Kong challenge

HARARE — Zimbabwe and Hong Kong are set to clash in a crucial Davis Cup tie that will determine their fate in the World Group II of the international tennis event.

The Zimbabwean team, led by Takanyi Garanganga, was announced on Thursday by Tennis Zimbabwe President Walter Jera, who said he was confident of their chances.

“Zimbabwe has a rich history in the Davis Cup, having reached the Quarterfinals in the Elite World Group in 1998. We are determined to restore our glory and even surpass it, with our new strategic vision to build ‘A World Class Tennis Nation’,” Jera told reporters.

He praised the players, including Benjamin Lock, who will play the first singles match, for their hard work and dedication.

“We have had great practices with the team, guys hitting the ball well. Conditions here are very fast hot and humid I think its gonna suit our style of play…just on our aggresive nature,” Lock said.

Hong Kong, led by Coleman Wong Chak-lam, who ranks No 247 in the world, is also confident of securing a win to stay in World Group II.

Hong Kong Tennis Association President Michael Cheng said he was proud of the team’s achievements and hoped they would continue to excel in the Davis Cup.

“Hong Kong has a talented and young team that has shown great potential and progress in the past few years. We are happy to host this important tie at Victoria Park, where we have a strong home support and a familiar environment,” Cheng said.

He commended the players, including Wong, who will play the second singles match, for their professionalism and commitment.

“I am confident in myself, as well as my teammates. I don’t feel too much pressure … I am treating it as per normal. They are not as strong as Latvia [who beat Hong Kong narrowly in September], so I fancy our chances,” Wong said.

He added that he was also looking forward to playing in some bigger tournaments, such as the French Open, and hoped to crack the top 100 by the season’s end.

The Davis Cup World Group II Play Offs tie between Zimbabwe and Hong Kong will start on February 3, 2024, with the first singles match between Benjamin Lock and Jack Wong Hong-kit, followed by the second singles match between Coleman Wong and Courtney Lock.

The doubles match and the reverse singles matches will be played on February 4, 2024. The winner of the tie will stay in the World Group II, while the loser will be relegated to the regional groups.