The draws for the Davis Cup Africa Zone Group III took place in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday morning, and Nigeria has been drawn in the same pool with Tunisia, Namibia and Mozambique. Nigeria will begin her quest for promotion against Namibia.
In Pool B, Madagascar, Algeria, Benin and host nation, Kenya will battle it out for promotion.
The trio of Emmanuel Audu, Emmanuel Idoko and Emmanuel Paul will lead Nigeria’s charge for success at the clay-court event. The team is captained by John Atiomo.
They will take on Namibia in their first tie on Wednesday. Jean Erasmus, Codie Van Schalkwky, Connor Van Schalkwky and Rlaan de Wit make up the Namibian team.
Nigeria and Namibia have faced off four times in the past, with both teams winning two ties each. Namibia, though, has won the last two meetings between them, with victories in 2016 and in last year’s event. Nigeria defeated the Southern Africans in 2006 and 2009.
Ties between nations will be played in a round-robin format, with two singles and a doubles in each tie, from Wednesday, 11th to Friday, 13th September. Playoff ties will be played on Saturday, 14th September.
In the playoff ties, the table toppers in Pool A will take on the second-placed team in Pool B (A1 vs. B2), while the second-placed team in Pool A will face the winners of Pool B (A2 vs. B1). Also, the 3rd-placed team in Pool A will take on the 4th-placed team in Pool B (A3 vs. B4), while the 4th-placed team in Pool A lock horns with the 3rd-placed team in Pool B (A4 vs. B3).
Only two nations will advance to the World Group II play-offs in 2020. Those two nations will be the winners of the A1 vs. B2 and A2 vs. B1 play-offs.
Two nations will be relegated to Africa Zone Group IV in 2020. Those two nations will be the losers of the A3 vs. B4 and A4 vs. B3 play-offs.
Last year, Team Nigeria, led by Joseph Imeh, Sylvester Emmanuel, Christian Paul and Abdulmumin Babalola, finished second in their Pool behind Benin and took on Pool B table-toppers, Namibia in the playoff tie. They, however, narrowly lost 2-1 to the Namibians. Kenya, the second-placed team in Pool B defeated Benin 2-1. Therefore, Namibia and Kenya secured promotion to Group II.
However, as a result of sweeping changes (see story) made to the tournament, both nations will no longer compete in the Africa Group II event, but will now remain in Group III and fight for promotion again.
The Davis Cup is live from the Nairabo Club in Kenya, from 11-14 September.