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06.04.2006 Sports News

Golden Rackets in tough Davis Cup draw

By Ahmed Shiraj

The Golden Rackets, Ghana's tennis team has been drawn in the toughest of the two groups for the Euro/Africa Zone !!! qualifies.

The Rackets will be Botswana between 24th-30th July 2006 to contest for one of the two Zone 11 qualifying spots in Group B alongside host Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tunisia.

Bosnia Herzegovina will host Group A between 17-23 July 2006 which has the following competitors; Armenia, Andorra, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Monaco and Turkey.

Ghana lost out her place in Zone !! last year after defeats to Finland and Georgia, just a year then after gaining promotion from Zone !!! in a qualifying tournament in Namibia.

According to tournament rules, the event will take the form of a round robin with all eight teams divided into two pools of four. The first two teams from each pool advance to another round-robin group.

The teams finishing first and second in this final pool are promoted to Europe/Africa Zone Group II in 2007. The teams finishing third and fourth in each pool also advance to a round-robin pool. The teams finishing in third and fourth in this subsequent pool are relegated to Europe/Africa Zone Group IV in 2007.

Ghana Tennis Association sources say Coach David Churcher who resigned last year after 17 years with the Rackets could be influenced back to help the team return to the topflight Zone !!.There has been a hint that former national tennis stars Frank Ofori and Sampson Ahinakwa are the likely candidates for the job if Coach Churcher turns down the offer.

Meanwhile, Ghana has gained five places to move from 88 to 83 on the latest Davis Cup Rankings released by the International Tennis Federation.The country experienced her worst drop six months ago when she fell 15 places to the 88 position due to series of dismal Davis Cup results in the first half of 2005.

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