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03.03.2005 Sports News

Ghana suffers setback

Ghana suffers setback
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...Salifu replaces Gunther as Ghana's number 2 Accra, Mar. 3, GNA - The national tennis team, the Golden Rackets, suffered a major setback less than 24 hours before their crunch Davis Cup duel with Finland at the tennis court of the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium.

Number two seed Gunther Darkey failed to shake off a three-month shoulder injury and had to be replaced by up-and-coming Salifu Mohammed for the three-day Euro-Africa Zone II competition which kick-starts on Friday.

The US-based Salifu, come up against the 89-ranked and number One seed of the Finnish team Jarko Nieminen in the opening singles match to be followed by Ghana's top ranked Henry Adjei Darko (540) versus the Finnish Number Two seed Tuomas Ketola.

Nieminen, arguably the most experienced player on the Finnish side, engaged the world's number One Roger Federer during this year's Australia Open in January and appears very confident to cause "havoc". But young Salifu told the GNA that the visitor's ranking did not move him, as he was also eager to make a name for himself.

Salifu is not new to the Davis Cup competition having featured for the nation in the last two editions in Namibia and in Accra.

He said he would rely on experience acquired in his last two participations cum home support to "shock" his opponents.

Henry, the nation's top seed, who flew into the country together with Salifu last night, assured the nation of victory in his game. Just last week, Henry lost in the semis and quarterfinals respectively in two separate tournaments in Switzerland dubbed the "Swiiss Future" which featured some top-notch tennis stars.

He believes his current form will assist his quest to upset the Finnish.

South African referee, Anton Riis, supervised the Draw. The matches will be played over best-of-five-sets with no tiebreak in the fifth set.

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