ZIMBABWE tennis star Wayne Black who retired a decade ago is back in the courts and is set to be part of the Zimbabwe Davis Cup team in March.
Black was a doubles expert whose formidable partnerships with Kevin Ullyet made Zimbabwe a fearsome side in the Davis Cup in the late 1990s and early 2000 while his brother Byron was also part of the core team.
Tennis Zimbabwe is abuzz with excitement with president Regis Bhunu saying they are thrilled to have the tennis star back.
His return is timely as it will be a morale booster to Zimbabwe who last year qualified for the Euro/Africa Zone Group II in March against Bosnia-Herzegovina as they continue to bid for a return to the World Group where Black and his brother Byron together with Ullyet were once a sensation.
Last September, Takanyi Garanganga, Benjamin Lock, Mark Fynn, Tinotenda Chanakira and non-playing captain Martin Dzuwa earned the country promotion into Europe-Africa Zone Group II which is two tiers below the elite group.
Bhunu yesterday confirmed that the player who had an illustrious career is back and will feature against Bosnia and Herzegovina in March.
“Our Davis Cup team has Garanganga, Fynn, Lock, Chanakira and coach Dzuwa.
“There is also Wayne Black in the team. We are very excited that he is back. It is a major boost to the players. We are very happy that Wayne has shown a lot of commitment. His experience is going to help our players because he is going to give them guidance and motivation,” he said.
Now a decade after he retired, the return of 41-year-old Black to the Davis Cup team could, however, prove instrumental in the youthful team.
“There is a possibility that I might make a comeback and play in the Zimbabwe Davis Team doubles circuit this year. I want to assist where I can so that we help Zimbabwe go back to its former international status in the Davis Cup,” Wayne told Southern Eye Sport.
“I am going to be the advisor for the Zimbabwe Davis team. I want to help them by talking about my experiences in the sport. I will be meeting the team in a few weeks then I will know what to do in order to help them,” he said.
Ullyet and Wayne won two men’s doubles Grand Slam titles the 2001 US Open and 2005 Australian Open.
Wayne partnered his sibling Cara to win two Grand Slam mixed doubles in the 2002 French Open and 2004 Wimbledon.
He attended the University of Southern California, US, and won the All-American singles and doubles in 1993 and 1994.
Wayne featured in 77 Davis Cup matches winning 47 and losing 30 after winning 19 doubles matches and losing nine while he won 28 singles matches and lost 21.
Since the retirement of the tennis great, the sport has failed to reach the heights that it had managed to scale.
Bhunu has in the past said they were hoping to raise over $100 000 to host the Bosnia-Herzegovina tie.
According to the Davis Cup website the competition began in 1900 between US and Great Britain.
It’s now the world’s largest annual international team competition in sport, with 122 nations taking part in 2014.