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Takanyi-Garanganga

ZIM DAVIS CUP TEAM GEAR UP FOR FINLAND

THE Zimbabwe Davis Cup tennis team held their first practice session in Finland yesterday, as they started the final stretch of their preparations for the Europe/Africa Zone Group II tie against the hosts beginning on Friday. BY SPORTS REPORTER

According to reports from Finland, the trio of captain Martin Dzuwa, Courtney Lock and Mark Fynn practiced at the indoor hard court in Kittilä, a popular holiday skiing resort in northern Finland.

They were expected to be joined by Takanyi Garanganga today after the United States-based
Zimbabwe will be without Benjamin Lock, who was not released by Florida State University, and have thrust in Dzuwa as the playing captain.

Hosts Finland will be led by 34-year-old veteran Jarkko Nieminen, winner of two ATP titles and losing finalist on 11 occasions.

Nieminen, who reached a career high ranking of 13th in the world nine years ago, had announced his retirement from professional tennis in June last year.

However, six months after playing a farewell match against his close friend, former world number one Roger Federer, in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, in November, Nieminen revealed he was ready to make a comeback for the tie against Zimbabwe.

“I have always gladly represented Finland in the Davis Cup and especially the home games have a certain magic,” Nieminen said in a statement published by Finnish media.

“I can’t wait to make the trip to Levi in Finnish nature and especially Lapland, which has a special place in my heart. It will be interesting to play tennis in the mountains.”

Although he has not played since the testimonial against Federer, Nieminen said he would be ready for the Davis Cup tie.

“I’m confident I will be ready. I will not play any actual matches before the Davis Cup, but a few practice matches will be enough,” said Nieminen, who said he was keeping in shape by skating, playing hockey and going to the gym, said.
Other members of the Finland team include veteran, doubles specialist Henri Kontinen, Harri Heliovaara and 18-year-old Eero Vasa, who will make his debut for his country.

According to reports from Finland, the trio of captain Martin Dzuwa, Courtney Lock and Mark Fynn practiced at the indoor hard court in Kittilä, a popular holiday skiing resort in northern Finland.

They were expected to be joined by Takanyi Garanganga today after the United States-based player’s arrival was delayed due to visa complications.

Zimbabwe will be without Benjamin Lock, who was not released by Florida State University, and have thrust in Dzuwa as the playing captain.

Hosts Finland will be led by 34-year-old veteran Jarkko Nieminen, winner of two ATP titles and losing finalist on 11 occasions.

Nieminen, who reached a career high ranking of 13th in the world nine years ago, had announced his retirement from professional tennis in June last year.

However, six months after playing a farewell match against his close friend, former world number one Roger Federer, in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, in November, Nieminen revealed he was ready to make a comeback for the tie against Zimbabwe.

“I have always gladly represented Finland in the Davis Cup and especially the home games have a certain magic,” Nieminen said in a statementpublished by Finnish media.

“I can’t wait to make the trip to Levi in Finnish nature and especially Lapland, which has a special place in my heart. It will be interesting to play tennis in the mountains.”

Although he has not played since the testimonial against Federer, Nieminen said he would be ready for the Davis Cup tie.

“I’m confident I will be ready. I will not play any actual matches before the Davis Cup, but a few practice matches will be enough,” said Nieminen, who said he was keeping in shape by skating, playing hockey and going to the gym, said.
Other members of the Finland team include veteran, doubles specialist Henri Kontinen, Harri Heliovaara and 18-year-old Eero Vasa, who will make his debut for his country.

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