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21.06.2005 Sports News

Another Davies Cup tourney beckons Ghana

Another Davies Cup tourney beckons Ghana
Accra, June 21, GNA - After the disappointing performance of the national tennis team, the Golden Rackets in the last Davies Cup match against Finland, another tourney is just at the corner, as Ghana prepares to take on Georgia to determine which of the two countries remain in the Euro-Africa Zone II.
Come July 15, the Rackets are expected to change the fortunes of the nation in the sport by putting up an improved performance to maintain their position in the Zone, having failed to advance to Zone I in the tie against Finland. This can however, not be achieved if steps are not taken to rectify the lapses that were realised in the last game against the northern Europeans.
Of the lapses, one of the major reasons was the late arrival of the foreign players who form a bulk of the team for the game. The players, most of whom arrived some few days before the match could not enjoy the luxury of getting used to the climatic conditions here before stepping unto the court to face the Finns. Top seed Henry Adjei-Darko conceded in an interview with the GNA Sports that his late arrival from Switzerland, which had a higher altitude resulted in the injury he sustained in his game against Tuomas Ketola in the second singles game and thus could not recover well enough for the remaining games.
The player's arrival as well as that of his colleagues was also purely due to financial reasons, because most of them play in tournaments in Europe and elsewhere to earn a living and had to remain in such tourneys to make enough money and end up devoting less time for preparations towards the national duty. The players however think this will become a minor problem if the nation can at least offer them 1,500 dollars plus plane tickets for each of them in order to forego some tournaments in due time so that they arrive early to prepare for the national assignments. They said they think this is not the beyond the reach of the nation 'if we are determined to make waves in the discipline'.
Playing against the Georgians will not be a child's play because the Europeans have their number seed ranked among the first 50 in the world as against our number one seed who is ranked 423. However, there is no doubt that the individual abilities of the players are capable of carrying us through if they are made to come home early for the needed preparation. This will however be complemented by a reasonable motivational package to boost their morale.
It is up to the Ghana Tennis Association (GTA), the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Education and Sports to devout little attention to the sport to bring out the best from the players, since Ghana cannot afford to slip to further to the Euro-Africa Zone III. Slipping down to that level will require much more than what we need today to return to the higher ranks, therefore the time to act is now, they conceded.