Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone IV championship
Rwanda 0-3 San Marino
Iceland 3-0 Rwanda
Rwanda 0-3 Namibia
Rwanda qualified for next year’s Davis Cup group III Euro-Africa zone despite loosing all their three fixtures at the just concluded group IV championship in Yerevan, Armenia.
The Rwandan tennis squad was made up of seed two; Jean-Claude Gasigwa, Dieudonné Habiyambere and Olivier Nkunda as well as coach Thierry Ntwali who is also Rwanda’s Davis Cup team captain.
Only four countries: Rwanda, Namibia, San Marino and Iceland participated in the week-long tournament. Initially, seven countries were expected to take part but there was late withdrawal for Libya, Mauritius and Malta.
Rwanda lost to San Marino in their opener with Gasigwa losing to Diego Zonzini 1-6 5-7 and Olivier Nkunda losing to Vicini Dominico 1-6 6-7 in the singles. In doubles’ category, Gasigwa pairing with Habiyambere lost to William Forcellini and Zonzini Giacomo 4-6 5-7.
Rwanda’s second fixture against Namibia failed to produce positive results as they lost 0-3. In the singles; Gasigwa lost to Gideon Strydom 3-6 2-6 while Nkunda lost to Jean Erasmus 1-6 2-6 respectively.
In the doubles: Gasigwa pairing with Habiyambere lost Strydom Gideon and Serdyn Jacobus 3-6 3-6 respectively.
In the third fixture: Rwanda lost to Iceland 0-3 with no victory in both singles and doubles event.
In singles: Gasigwa lost to Sigurdsson Arnar 1-6 1-6 as Habiyambere failed to overcome Raj Bonifacius on 1-6 1-6.
In the doubles: Nkunda paired with Habiyambere to lose to Magnus Gunnarsson and Andri Jonsson 6-7 7-6 6-7 respectively.
The participating teams played in one-robin pool and the only four teams which took part in this year’s edition all promotion to Group III for the 2009 edition.
Rwanda joins Iceland, San Marino, Namibia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Ghana, Lithuania, Moldova and Norway in the battle to qualify for group II in next year’s edition.
The team head coach Thierry Ntwali told Sunday Sport in an e-mail from Armenia yesterday that his players played better as compared to last year despite not winning a single match.
“None of our players are ranked but being able to play alongside ATP ranked players was also a major challenge,” Ntwali noted.