It was probably Zimbabwe’s worst start in such competitions, and the result has sent warning bells ringing on what could probably be yet another failure to gain promotion into the Africa Zone Group Two.
Mohamed Abid got the ball rolling for Tunisia, overcoming Benjamin Lock 6-3 6-3, which paved the way for Slim Hamza to seal the tie by defeating Mark Fynn 6-2 6-1 in just 57 minutes.
Hamza then teamed up with Anis Ghorbel to cap an excellent day for the home team, winning the doubles rubber 6-3 6-2 against Fynn and Tendai Tapfuma to complete the whitewash.
The Zimbabweans are missing their top player Takanyi Garanganga who is who is not at the tournament despite having made a commitment to play. Garanganga, Africa’s top player could have fared better considering the embarrassing straight set defeats of Fyn and Lock in the singles.
But the fact remains that it is very unhealthy to rely very much on one player.
Tunisia are not on top of the round robin Pool A. The leading team is Namibia who accounted for Ghana 2-1 in the other pool match thanks to a vital doubles win by Tukhula Jacobs and Jean Erasmus.
Pool B pits the Ivory Coast, Benin, Kenya, and Algeria after the format was changed following the last minute withdrawal of Nigeria.
The top two teams from the groups qualify for the Africa Zone Group Two in 2013 and Zimbabwe should win their remaining games against Namibia and Ghana and also hope Tunisia lose their matches for them to still remain a chance of securing a ticket to the higher stage next year.
Powered by Garanganga, Zimbabwe missed out of qualification by a whisker in 2011 after they finished third in Cairo, Egypt, with only the top two finishers qualifying.
But Monday’s events in Tunis do not promise such a good outing.Post published in: Sport