Posted by By John Egbokhan on
Nigeria’s Davis Cup, yesterday in Botswana, qualified to play in the 2007 Davis Cup Euro-Africa Zone Group B after beating Namibia 2-1.....
Nigeria’s Davis Cup, yesterday in Botswana, qualified to play in the 2007 Davis Cup Euro-Africa Zone Group B after beating Namibia 2-1, in her last match at the event. It was the first time the country would progress to Group 11 after ten years in the lower levels of the Davis Cup.
The team, led by team captain, Rotimi Akinloye, who also doubles as the national tennis coach, started yesterday’s last and decisive matches against Namibia, runners-up in Group A, with the knowledge that only a win would be sufficient to put Nigeria into next year’s Euro-Africa Zone Group 11and how well they got off well when top seed, Jonathan Igbinovia, outlasted his Namibian foe, Henry Henriko in three sets of 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.
It was a tough match but the win was the tonic Nigeria needed to send her intention of playing in next year’s Group 11. It was Igbinovia’s fifth straight singles win in Gaborone, venue of the qualifying series. He was the only player that succeeded in winning all his singles match, a feat, which reinforced the view that the US-based player still has a lot of fire in his game
Igbinovia’s convincing victory was the tonic that Nigeria’s second seed, Abdulmumuni Babalola needed as he entered the court to face Namibia’s Jurgens Strydon. A victory by Babalola was all Nigeria needed to get into Group 11 and at the end of 70 minutes, Babalola had triumphed in two sets of 6-3, 6-3.
His victory sparked feelings of celebration amongst the Nigerian team , as it guaranteed them a place in the Group 11, irrespective of the doubles match, which the pair of Jonathan Igbinovia and Shehu Lawal lost in two sets of 4-6, 6-7 to Namibia’s duo of Jurgens Strydom and Henry Henriko
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