Namibia Off to Winning Start in Cairo

Namibia notched up their second consecutive victory at the Davis Cup Africa Group III competition in Cairo, Egypt on Wednesday after beating Benin 2-1.

Benin were seeded second for the tournament and Namibia fifth, but Namibia got off to a great start when Henco Serdyn beat Jean Segodo in three sets.

Serdyn led 4-1 in the first set but Segodo made a fine comeback to win the first set 6-4.

Serdyn once again led 4-1 in the second set before another comeback by Segodo but Serdyn managed to win the set 7-5.

In the third set Serdyn once again squandered a big 5-1 lead and three match points but eventually he won the set 6-4 to win the match 2-1.

Afterwards, Serdyn said it was the toughest match that he had played.

“This was the toughest match I have ever played, but with the guidance and exceptional experience of our coach Johan Theron I managed to win the game. Without Johan on the court I would not have been able to pull through – he managed to keep my head in the game,” he said.

Namibia’s top ranked player Tuki Jacobs then beat Felix Hounkpevi 7-6, 6-1 to put Namibia in an unbeatable 2-0 lead.

Ben Piet O Callaghan and Herman Kuschke lost their doubles match against Magloire Yakpa and Theophile Segodo in straight sets, going down 6-2, 6-1.

“Benin was solid at the net and we had our opportunities in the match. Namibia fought hard for every point, but couldn’t capitalize on the important points. But we had a fantastic day overall defeating Benin, the second seed for the tournament 2-1. We will keep our heads held high throughout the tournament,” Serdyn said.

On Tuesday, Namibia got their campaign off to a winning start by beating Botswana 3-0.

In the first match, Serdyn beat Shingirai Muzondiwia in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.

Although the big-serving Serdyn comfortably won the match, he had to be patient as the victory only came after one and a half hours of play.

In the second match, Namibia’s top-seeded player Tuki Jacobs came back from one set down to beat Botswana’s number one Phenyo Matong in three sets.

Matong won the first set 7-5, but with a smashing serve and g forehand, Jacobs won the next two sets 6-2, 6-0 to win the match.

Serdyn and Ben Piet O Callaghan then teamed up in the doubles to comfortably defeat Lame Botshoma and Thabiso Mabaka 6-2, 6-1.

Serdyn said that the spirit was high in the Namibian camp following their victory.

“This is a fantastic start for Namibia and the vibe in the Namibian team is very energetic. Although Botswana is not one of the toughest nations, we played very well against them,” he said.

In matches on Monday, Algeria defeated Botswana 3-0, Benin defeated Mozambique 2-1 after a marathon tie that lasted six hours and 35 minutes, while Zimbabwe easily defeated Congo 3-0 within one hour 40 minutes.

In matches on Tuesday, Madagascar beat Congo 3-0 and Algeria beat Mozambique 3-0.

Namibia is ranked fifth for the tournament and is competing in Group B along with the second seeds Benin, Algeria, Botswana and Mozambique.

The top seeds Zimbabwe are competing in Group A along with Madagascar, Nigeria and Congo. Rwanda was a late withdrawal after they failed to arrive for the tournament.

Namibia will play Algeria tomorrow while the positional play-off matches take place on Saturday.

The top two nations will progress to Africa Group II while the bottom two will be relegated to Africa Group IV.

The Namibian team is being sponsored by the Namibia Sport Commission, Alexander Forbes and Sanlam.

Source : The Namibian