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17.07.2005 Sports News

Rains Save Ghana

GNA
Accra, July 17, GNA - Poor visibility and rain delayed the fate of Ghana in the Euro-Africa Zone II Davis Cup play-off at the Frank Ofori Center Court of the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra when play was suspended till Monday. Ghana's number one seed, Henry Adjei Darko, before the weather break, was trailing the Georgian number one seed, Irakli Labadze 4-6, 2-3. The match will continue with the suspended number one singles encounter before Ghana's number two Salifu Mohammed, who will be taking the place of inconsistent Gunther Darkey play against his Georgian counterpart Lado Chikhladze. But from the way things were going, it will take a dramatic u-turn in the fortunes of the Ghanaians if they are to wrestle the initiative from the much more experienced Georgians.
With the back of the Ghanaians against the wall, after the Georgians took a 2-1 lead on Saturday by winning the doubles, the Rackets were set an arduous task of winning the remaining two singles encounters to avoid the drop to Zone III.
But things did not go as planned, as Adjei-Darko's serve was broken in the very first game of the first set when his powerful serves were not well directed, thus allowing the much more experienced Georgian number one seed to capitalize on.
After the early break, the Ghanaian regained his confidence and pummeled Labadze with some big shots to break back, but it was not possible as the Georgian relied on his great court craftsmanship to fend off everything thrown at him to win the set 6-4 after 40 minutes.
Like the first set, the hope of the packed house was dashed again early in the second set when Adjei-Darko's serve and killer instincts to finish off rallies deserted him again, allowing the Georgians to break once more.
The game then went with serve as Adjei-Darko fought in vein to break back before the overcast sky affected visibility for play to be suspended.
The three days five-match rubber started on Friday with Georgian number one seed, Irakli Labadze, ranked 164 in the world, easily disposing of Ghana's number two seed Gunther Darkey 6-2, 6-2,6-1. Ghana's number one seed, Henry Adjei-Darko made amends in the day's second match when he beat the Georgian number two seed, Lado Chikhladze 7-6 (9-7), 6-2, 6-2 to level things up.
The Golden Rackets task was made more difficult in Saturday's doubles when Ghanaian pair of Henry Adjei-Darko and Gunther Darkey lost 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 4-6 to the Georgian pair of Irakli Labadze and Lado Chikhladze.


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