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27.02.2005 Sports News

Profile of the four-man Golden Racket

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Accra, Feb 27, GNA - Ghana's quest of gaining promotion into the Euro-Africa Zone I in the Davis Cup, rests on the shoulders of four key gentlemen - Henry Adjei-Darko, Gunther Darkey, Daniel Omaboe and Salifu Mohammed. Beginning Friday, March 4, to Sunday, March 6, the four-man Golden Racket team would attempt to make that dream a reality as they battle Finland at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra.

The Ghana News Agency Sports Desk will profile each player of the quartet team and the captain, coach David Churcher, plus all that our numerous subscribers need to know about the Davis Cup. Our focus today is Ghana's number one seed, Henry Adjei-Darko.

Henry Adjei-Darko:

He leads the team for the first time by virtue of his splendid performance, and as the only ranked Ghanaian tennis player. Born some 22 years ago, Henry, as his peers popularly call him, has graduated sturdily from age seven when his father introduced him into the sport until he turned professional at 20. Weighing 75 kg, Henry has been a force to reckon with on the local front and an important ingredient in Ghana's Davis Cup team since 2001. The United States-based player was however, absent from the 2003 vanquished team that succumbed to Slovenia, and finally slumped to Zone III.

A product of the Dansoman-based Wesley Grammar Senior Secondary School, Henry built his unblemished reputation over the years from the junior championships notably the U-14, U-16 and U-18 and a benefactor of ITF scholarship programmes. Henry made a great comeback into the team after missing out in 2003 and together with former national top seed Gunther Darkey, as the key actors, moved the Golden Racket into Zone II in far away Namibia. A proud winner of the African Junior Championship in 2000 when he partnered Togolese Komlavi Loglo in the doubles in the Egypt competition, Henry always exhibits amazing stamina and power serves to outwit his opponents. He, was subsequently, ranked 25 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) World Junior rankings.

Having built 26 ATP points in the Singles event and 35 ATP points in the Doubles event, the player's current ambition is to improve upon his baseline game as part of his preparation to become a complete star. Last year, he incredibly upstaged his opponents in the Satellite competition held in Nigeria and was touted as one of the few young stars who could move up in ranking in no time. The buoyant Adjei Darko has won six major "future tournaments" in the juniors' events and his victory in Nigeria introduced him to the senior level since turning professional.

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