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.
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Play-acting mystifies me. I was taught not to show pain
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Nani transfer: No future for winger at Sporting Lisbon as club cannot afford his wages when loan deal with Manchester United runs out
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Phillip Hughes death: UK company Masuri say Australian opener was wearing 'outdated helmet'
- 1 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled machini...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled toolmak...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Langley James : Head of IT; e-commerce; Blackburn; ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you have experience of B2B s...