The Sunday Mail
“LET’S wrap it up guys, we are in a perfect position.”
That was the message from Zimbabwe Davis Cup captain Gwinyai Tongoona after watching his side take commanding 2-0 lead in their Europe/Africa Group II tie against Turkey at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Zimbabwe needs to win just one of the three matches set for the same venue today to seal the tie.
The hosts find themselves in this comfortable position after a spending opening day which saw number one player Ben Lock beating Turkish second seed Altug Celikbilek 6-4 1-6 6-3 in 1 hour 54 minutes.
Takanyi Garanganga then capped it off with 6-4 7-5 straight sets victory over Turkey’s top player Cem Ilkel in 1 hour 34 minutes, much to the delight of the loud home crowd.
Tongoona was all smiles.
“Any team going into Davis Cup up 2-0 after the first two matches will be thrilled. That’s the perfect position,” he said.
“You just have to keep working and go for one more result… I guess we need one more, we hope to wrap it up after the doubles. We just have to prepare and get ready for doubles.”
Ilkel admitted that Turkey are on the back foot but insisted that the Europeans are not throwing in the towel just yet.
“It’s going to be tough, but there is always a chance right…we will do our best,” he said.
“We both had chances but they are used to the conditions. But tomorrow (today) it’s a new day. I don’t think our attitude will change.”
For Zimbabwe, Lock and Garanganga will team up in the doubles starting at 10am before gearing up for the reverse singles later on.
They are taking confidence from yesterday’s efforts.
“I think we are in a very good position, I anticipate some changes in their line up for the doubles. We need to see what they are going to do last minute,” said Lock.
Garanganga believes disciplined tennis will bag the tie for Zimbabwe.
“Ben set the tempo for the whole tie,” he said.
“Playing disciplined tennis, first serves in, first returns in, first volleys in and then everything becomes dynamic, it’s really those things you want to tick.”