The Golden Racquets Endeavour
... To Break into the higher echelon of World Tennis Ghana's Golden Racquets, face Finland in Accra on march the 4th, the question on most tennis minds is can our boys deliver and the question that follows is can they sustain it if they are to penetrate the Euro/African Zone 2 into the Group 1 with the Big Boys.
We must not forget, coincidently Ghana has been here before in 1996, when we lost to our former colonial masters Great Britain in a 5-0 defeat in Accra, Britain went on into the world group with the help of the Darling of British tennis, who else, but Tim Henmen. I refer to our colonial master, because I see Ghana making the same mistakes that Britain did in the past and perhaps are still doing in a small way, in depending on one individual or a small group of players. In Ghana's case Henry Adjei-Darko, Salifu Mohamed and not forgetting Gunter Darkey who is more or less in his twilight years.
One does not feel nonchalant about the situation, albeit Ghana has coign of vantage, if we lose this tie, it will not be the end of Ghana tennis, albeit it will set us back once again. Without clear strategies and the right people in the right positions within the GTA, the Golden Racquets future may be at great risk yet again, why should this happen to a nation with an abundance of tennis talent, in fact I compare Ghana to Belgium in many ways, a small tennis nation, but with the right structures they have managed to produce world beaters and sustain equilibrium in the ladies game and one can not envisage why the Golden Racquets can not archive the same for Mother Ghana.
The tennis community calls on the new sports Minster Yaw Osafo-Maafo, to initiate a program to eradicate the corruption, nepotisim and intimidation that goes on within the GTA and embrace a new chapter, where appointments are made through vetting and candidates applying for the positions having to declare their CV's, rather than a placement via a govement/national sports council appointees.
Making it into the apex of the tennis world can bring many benefits to all concern, GTA, players and the economy, lets not forget that sports can rival tourism if we get our act together and get things right, a momentous occasion which can be prolific and must not be wasted.
The tie will be at the Accra sports stadium (Capacity 2000) and will commence on: -
Day 1(March 4th) at 10:00 hrs (GMT)
Day 2 (March 5th) at 13:00 hrs (GMT)
Day 3 (March 6th) at 10:00 hrs (GMT) Court surface hard, with Penn balls being used
Looking at head to head matches Finland lead 1-0 having beaten Ghana in 1995 in a quarterfinal tie in Finland on Clay at the Hotel Rosendahl TC Tampere.
Top Player for Finland Jarkko Nieminen was injured at the recent Australian open playing World # 1 Roger Federer, it is uncertain if he will be fit for the March tie with Ghana.
God Bless our Homeland Ghana and the Golden Racquets.
WITA Tennis will bring the tennis community in the Diaspora daily reports via Ghanaweb.com.