from the Herald Online of Zimbabwe
Venue for Zimbabwe, Belgium tennis tie still to be decided
By Tendai Ndemera
THE second round of the Davis Cup Euro-African Zone Group One tennis tie between Zimbabwe and Belgium will be played in the European country during the weekend of April 9-11.
A spokesperson for the Belgian Tennis Federation, Sophie Lenbogge, said yesterday the organisers of the second round tie had still to decide on the venue of the match. Speaking on the line from Brussels, Lenbogge said it is hoped that the venue for the tie will be announced either next week or the week after as the organisers are still working on certain modalities that need to be taken care of before the hosting of the event.
"But the tie will certainly be held during the weekend of April 9 to 11 although noone at the moment has any idea of which city will host the tie since the responsible people are still holding meetings to decide on the venue. "We should be in a position to know where exactly the tie will be staged either next week or during the week after because at the moment the responsible people are still working on the groundwork for staging the tie here," said Lenbogge.
Lenbogge said she was also not in a position to release the names of the players who might make the team at this stage because the tennis authorities there were still working on the issue. This will be the second time in two years that the two Davis Cup tennis-playing nations engage each other in a tennis tie. Their first meeting was in Harare in 2002 when the Belgians won 4-1 at the City Sports Centre after dismembering the Black brothers, Byron and Wayne, in the opening days singles matches on September 20 before winning the first match of the reverse singles on the third day of play. The Zimbabweans managed to win the doubles match when Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett teamed-up to dismiss the Belgian pair of Tom Vanhoudt and Giles Elseneer 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.
However, things fell apart on the final day when the then dependable number one player in the country Byron Black was dismissed in the first of the reverse singles. Byron went down in straight sets to Belgiums then number one player Xavier Malisse 3-6, 6-7 (7-3), 4-6 before Genius Chidzikwe went down 1-6, 4-6 to Belgiums then number four player Gilles Elseneer in the dead rubber. Should Zimbabwe beat Belgium in April they will progress to the World Group Qualifying Round scheduled for September.