Davis Cup Team confident ahead of tournament

04 Sep 2014 11:20am
WINDHOEK, 04 SEP (NAMPA) – Four Namibian tennis players will compete at the Davis Cup in Egypt, Cairo from 8 to 12 September this year.
The Davis Cup is also known as “The World Cup of Tennis”, and is the premier international team event in men's tennis.
It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and contested annually between various countries in a knock-out format.
The Davis Cup is usually held in the months of April or May, and Zimbabwe received the hosting privileges for the Davis Cup 2014.
However, they were unable to raise the funds to host this event.
During the sending-off ceremony on Wednesday at the Central Tennis Club (CTC) in Olympia, Namibia Tennis Association (NTA) president Bob Moulo expressed his delight and confidence with the team which will represent Namibia in Egypt.
“A few years ago, we promised that we will always send a team to represent us at the Davis Cup, and we are right now delivering on our promise as this tournament is important for the development of players and the continuation of athletes’ development in sports.
All I can say is: well done to the athletes who made the team. We believe in your ability of making this nation proud,” he stated.
Moulo also thanked the Namibia Sports Commission for making the trip possible after buying the players’ flight tickets.
A player who will be making his first appearance at the showpiece is Ben-Piet O’Callaghan, who told Nampa afterwards that it is every sportsman or woman’s dream to represent their country.
“I already represented the country at junior levels, but this is a big honour to be in the senior team.
All I’m hoping for is to cause damage at the tournament,” enthused O’Callaghan.
Henco Serdyn - who has already represented Namibia twice at the Davis Cup - said this year’s team stands a good chance of progressing to the next rounds.
“If we want to do damage at the tournament, this is the time we have to do it. Egypt is one of the strongest African contenders, but have been drawn in a group with Europe.
This now gives us a chance to compete fairly with the teams we have been drawn against from Africa,” noted Serdyn.
Namibia is currently drawn in Africa Group Three with Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Congo, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
Serdyn said the only team which can possibly present a challenge in their group is Zimbabwe because their players are playing at a lot of developed institutions in the United States.
Zimbabwe is also ranked higher than all the group members.
The four tennis players who will represent the country in Cairo will be Tuki Jacobs, who is the country’s number one tennis player currently studying engineering in the United States and playing college tennis.
This will be his third appearance at the Davis Cup.
Hermann Kuscke and Henco Serdyn all have day-jobs in Namibia, and will also be representing the country for the second time at the tournament.
O’Callaghan is the other member.
The whole team also represented Namibia at junior level as well.
Johan Theron will be the team manager and coach during the tournament.
Namibia has competed in the tournament since 2000. At the last tournament in 2013, they ended seventh.
The team will depart from Windhoek on 4 September, and will be back on the 14th.
Sanlam Namibia and Alexander Forbes sponsored the team financially and with gear to be used throughout the tournament.