Zim in bittersweet Davis Cup win
5 February 2018
BENJAMIN Lock and Takanyi Garanganga proved their mettle under wet conditions to power Zimbabwe to a dramatic 3-1 victory over Turkey in the Davis Cup Europe/Africa Group Two first round tie at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
The journey began on Saturday with Lock dismissing Altug Celikbilek 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 before Garanganga made it 2-0 for Zimbabwe overcoming Cem Ikel 6-4, 7-5 in the singles.
And yesterday, it just got better for Zimbabwe whose doubles team of Lock and Garanganga beat Ilkel and Altuna Tuna 7-5, 6-3 to take the series in a dramatic ending to the rain affected match.
Rain interrupted play and had it suspended for about three hours with Zimbabwe leading 7-5, 2-2. And when play resumed, it took Zimbabwe close to an hour to wrap up the match in spite of missing several match points.
“I enjoyed my match yesterday (Saturday) and I enjoyed the doubles today (Sunday) so it’s good,” Garanganga said.
“This is my first event of the year so it’s a good way to start the year and then get some good momentum then we go from them.”
However, drama unfolded with the final match point -or perhaps an unusual way of ending a thrilling match- that brought Zimbabwe victory.
Lock’s serve -which was going to be a fault- was adjudged to have touched Tuna’s foot first and thus became alive in the process meaning Zimbabwe would get a point for that.
Lock made a gentle appeal to the chair umpire who was convinced that the ball hit Tuna’s foot and thus granted Zimbabwe a point to victory.
“An extremely weird way to finish the tie,” Lock said.
“I am not gonna lie it’s kinda bittersweet to finish like that but if you take that point away we put ourselves in very good positions to win and if you keep doing that over a long period of time some luck will go your way.”
This point didn’t go down well with the Turks who protested the decision arguing that the ball came off the ground first before hitting Tuna’s foot.
The Turks didn’t hide their anger and frustrations and it came down to Cem smashing his racket on the court.
Turkey had something to smile about in the reverse singles as Sarp Agabigun beat Mehluli Sibanda 7-5, 6-4 to give the visitors a consolation win.
Overall, it was a sweet series victory for Zimbabwe who progress to the Second Round where they will meet either Slovenia or Poland on April 7-8.