Rwanda relegated to Europe/Africa Zone, Group IV
Rwanda has been relegated to the Europe/Africa Group IV in 2010 after finishing third in the demotion group of this year’s Davis Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group 3 that ended over the weekend in Istanbul, Turkey.
Rwanda finished third in the Demotion group after registering their only win of the week-long competition 2-1 against Botswana.
Dieudonne Habiyambere and Olivier Nkunda defeated Botswana’s Matshidiso Malope and Shingirai Muzondiwa 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in the men’s doubles rubber on Saturday. However, the win could not lift the Rwandan players in the deciding doubles match against Iceland.
Habiyambere and Mathieu Uwizeyimana lost to Iceland’s pair of Magnus Gunnarsson and Arnar Sigurdsson 6-1, 6-1 in just thirty minutes.
Rwanda’s top seed, Habiyambere failed to make any impression as he also lost his last singles match against Iceland’s Arnar Sigurdsson in straight sets 6-0, 6-0.
Nkunda went down fight in three sets 2-6, 6-1, 5-7 against Birkir Gunnarsson. Being the lowest-placed nations in the relegation pool, both Rwanda and Botswana were relegated to Europe/Africa group IV.
Estonia and Turkey topped the week-long tournament and were promoted to Europe/Africa Group II for next year.
Rwanda’s Davis Cup team coach Thierry Ntwali said this year’s event was difficult for his players given the nature of the opposition. He, however, lauded his inexperienced young players for staging a better show compared to last year’s.
“Last year, we didn’t win any match but we have won against Botswana and we also went close to beating Iceland. Credit to the boys for the performances,” Ntwali told Times Sport from Turkey yesterday through an email.
The team was expected to back home last evening.