Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S Davis Cup team captain Gwinyai Tongoona says they are looking forward to an explosive encounter as they take on Poland in the Europe/Africa Group II second round tie starting today in Sopot.
The tie is played over two days with the two first singles on today.
They will be followed by the doubles and reverse singles tomorrow.
In a draw held yesterday, Zimbabwe’s number two player, Takanyi Garanganga, will take on Kamil Majchrzak, who comes in as Poland’s number one, in the first rubber this afternoon.
Benjamin Lock, who is coming as the country’s number one player, will then face Michal Przysiezny in the second rubber.
Poland were forced to make a change to their team after their number one player Hubert Hurkacz got injured and will now be led by Majchrzak.
Just like in the first round against Turkey, Tongoona has built his team around Lock and Garanganga, who will team up for the doubles against the pair of Lukasz Kubot and Marcin Matkowski tomorrow before they play the reverse singles.
“Yes, we have gone with the same team as in the last tie but, obviously, if we feel we need to change we will discuss after the singles.
“We want to field our strongest team throughout but if we feel anyone needs a break after singles then we may have to make changes for Sunday.
‘‘We have prepared well and the guys are feeling good and confident, so we are looking forward to a good tie,” said Tongoona.
The other players in the team are Mark Chigaazira and Mehluli Sibanda.
Sibanda played in the dead rubber against Turkey in February and lost after Zimbabwe had taken a 3-0 lead, having won the first two singles and the doubles.
Zimbabwe won the tie 3-1.
Tongoona said it’s going to be a tight contest with the Polish players better ranked than them but remains optimistic.
“Takanyi plays first as our number two. The match will still be tough one, rankings are different but the level of play is quite similar for all the players and their doubles team is very strong.
“It’s a pity about the Polish number one but the rest of the team are also good players, so it’s not really going to be an easier match,” said Tongoona.
The Polish team are under the guidance of captain Radoslaw Szymanik.
The winners from the tie will progress to the third round where they will play for promotional play-offs into Europe/Africa Group I.
Kamil Majchrzak v Takanyi Garanganga
Michal Przysiezny v Benjamin Lock
Lukasz Kubot/Marcin Matkowski v Takanyi Garanganga/Benjamin Lock
Kamil Majchrzak V Benjamin Lock
Michal Przysiezny v Takanyi Garanganga