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ITF delay in planning affects calendar

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DELAYS by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in announcing the dates and venue of this year’s Davis Cup Africa Zone Group III matches has affected the planning of the local tennis calendar.

sports reporter

Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ) administrator Cliff Nhokwara said the venue and the dates on which the tournament will be held would determine the dates for the local Futures tournaments. ITF have announced the setting of the Group III matches in the Americas, Asia-Oceania and European zones, but are yet to announce that of Africa.

“We usually receive all the information on Davis Cup December, but this has not been the case. We cannot decide on when we will host our future tournaments because they might clash with the Davis Cup tournament dates,” Nhokwara said.

“Once we get the dates and the venues, we then start our preparations for the tournament and also decide on when we will host the two Futures tournaments.”

Zimbabwe last year finished third in Egypt behind Morocco and the hosts to miss out on qualification to Davis Cup Euro-Africa Zone Group II.

Nhokwara added: “We have to be promoted this time around. Our hope is that the tournament will be played on hard surface and we pray that Botswana wins the bid to host the event as Nigeria is also bidding to host the tournament.”

Zimbabwe missed out on qualification to the Euro-Africa Zone Group II after crashing to a 1-2 defeat to Egypt at the play-offs stages of the 2013 Africa Zone Davis Cup Group III tournament in Cairo. Zimbabwe is due to host two ITF Futures tournaments, the 23rd Century Futures and the NetOne Zimbabwe Open tournament this year.

TZ is set to host the country’s first -ever 18 and Under Tournament with a Grade Three rating from July 26 to August 16.

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