Photo: ITFMen's winners Nigeria
Nigeria and South Africa qualified for the 2013 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Antalya, Turkey in May after winning the men’s and women’s events for the second year in a row at the Africa qualification tournament in Nairobi, Kenya on Sunday.
Nigeria qualified for the men’s World Group 2 competition after ending the event in Kenya without dropping a singles rubber. They won both of their round-robin ties against Ghana and Mauritius and Sunday’s final against Egypt 3-0.
Jude Uwazie got Nigeria off to a perfect start in the final defeating Egypt’s Hassan Mohamed 60 62. Yusuf Wasiu met more resistance against Aly Mohamed in the second singles rubber but went on to secure a 64 61 victory and ensure Nigeria’s victory. Uwazie and Wasiu then combined to overcome their respective singles opponents 62 60 in the double rubber.
“I played great, it was quite easy,” said Uwazie. “I’m very excited about going to Turkey and we’ll be ready for the competition.”
“It was a very good competition. It was difficult on the court but I am very happy I won the match and we will be in World Group 2 in Turkey,” continued Wasiu. “The level of competition amongst the other teams is better (this year) and there is great improvement.”
Tanzania finished third in the men’s event after beating Ghana 3-0, while Gambia claimed fifth place after defeating Mauritius 3-0.
South Africa beat Kenya to secure qualification
South Africa overcame host nation Kenya 3-0 to secure their place in the women’s World Group in Turkey.
South Africa also completed the qualification event without dropping any of their singles or doubles rubbers, with Mabel Mankgele and Rose van der Meer both winning their respective singles rubbers in the final against Jane Ndenga and Rahel Akoth 60 60.
All four players then took to the court for the doubles rubber, which Mankgele and van de Meer won 61 61.
Van der Meer, South Africa’s No. 1 ranked player competing in Kenya while Kgothatos Montjane prepares for the Australian Open, said: “There's definitely an improvement in the teams we played since last year. We are very proud to have qualified for our country.”
The only one of the final day’s play-offs to not finish 3-0 came in the women’s third-fourth place play-off between Egypt and Tanzania, although Egypt clinched third place after the two singles rubbers.
After Neama Ahmed had beaten Rehema Selemani 61 64 and Shaimaa Abdellatif had put the tie beyond doubt with a 62 60 win over Bihawa Mustafa, Mustafa and Selemani put in a tremendous effort to win the doubles 16 76(5) 10-7 for Tanzania, with Egypt claiming the overall victory 2-1.