Tennis: Britain to face African challenge
Monday 10 February 1997
Britain had a bye in the first round and Zimbabwe went through when taking a winning 3-0 lead over Ukraine in Harare this weekend. The brothers Byron and Wayne Black gained the winning point by beating Andrei Medvedev and Dimitri Poliakov 6-7, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the doubles.
But the decisive blow came on on Friday when the little known Wayne Black beat the celebrated Medvedev 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the opening singles. Byron Black then beat Andrei Rybalko 5-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-3 for a 2-0 lead.
David Lloyd, Britain's non-playing captain, said of the Crystal Palace sell-out: "Everyone knows it will be a tough match. On paper we should be favourites but in the Davis Cup it is never easy to predict. You cannot underestimate anyone, as Wayne Black proved in beating Medvedev. That was a result that no one expected."
If Britain win they will go forward to the World Group qualifying round from September 19 to 21. Victory then would put Britain back in the World Group of the top 16 nations, a place the country lost when they were relegated in 1992.
Arnaud Boetsch salvaged some pride for the beaten Davis Cup holders, France, by defeating Patrick Rafter to prevent a whitewash by Australia in their World Group first-round tie in Sydney yesterday. Boetsch beat Rafter 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 in the final singles match after Australia had wrapped up the tie by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead by winning the doubles on Saturday.
Sandon Stolle gave Australia the chance of a 5-0 victory when he defeated the French No 1, Cedric Pioline, 7-6, 6-4 in the first of the reverse singles.
Boetsch's win over Rafter came as small consolation for France, who only nine weeks ago had won a dramatic 3-2 Davis Cup final against Sweden in Malmo.
South Africa lined up a probable second-round tie away to former champions Sweden in April after victory over Russia in their match in Durban yesterday. The South African pair of Ellis Ferreira and Grant Stafford outclassed Andrei Olhovskiy and Andrei Cherkasov 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 in the doubles to give the home side a winning 3-0 lead.
Carlos Moya sealed Germany's exit in Mallorca yesterday when he overpowered Hendrik Dreekman 6-4, 6-4, 7-5. Spain eventually won the tie 4-1.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Sir Alex Ferguson reveals who he thinks is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...