Team Nigeria at the weekend defeated Algeria 2-0 to place fifth at the 2017 Davis Cup Africa Zone Group 3 held at Solaimaniyah Club, Cairo, Egypt.
Having lost 3-0 and 2-1 to Zimbabwe in Pool A, Nigeria, which paraded Abdulmumuni Babalola, Sylvester Emmanuel, Clifford Enosoregbe, Joseph Ubon and Benson Isichelli (non-playing Captain), vent their anger on Rwanda with a 3-0 win to place third thus setting up a classification tie with Algeria who placed third in Pool B which also has Benin, Kenya, Botswana and Libya. Ubon set Nigeria on a victory ride with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Hichem Yasri after which Emmanuel sealed victory for Nigeria by beating Youcef Ghezal 6-3, 6-4.
Spain-based Emmanuel, who is ranked world number 1171, was Nigeria’s star performer as he bagged one of the eye-catching results of the week-long tournament. The Rainoil-sponsored player brushed aside US-based Takanyi Garaganga of Zimbabwe, the world number 447, 6-3, 7-5 in a crucial duel before the Southern African nation eventually triumphed in the exhilarating match with a decisive 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 win in the doubles, thus pipping Nigeria to the promotion match playoff with its western neighbours Benin.
Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF) President, Dayo Akindoju expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance pledging the federation will ensure Nigeria get a better outing in the tournament next year.
He said, “The two teams that got promoted are from our group which translates to the fact that we competed in a tough group. We are now committed to better preparation and hopefully we will get a promotion ticket next time around.”
Egypt defeated Benin 2-0 while Zimbabwe bagged the same scoreline over Kenya to get promotion to Group 2 while Botswana was relegated.